Wilhelmsen group CEO, Thomas Wilhelmsen, says the company foresees an overall spend of up to $500 million in renewables over the next five years.
Announcing a reorganisation of its group portfolio to align with a shift from oil and gas-related activities to the renewables sector,Wilhelmsen said: ‘Our strategy is very clear, we will contribute to the energy infrastructure transition and be an active player in decarbonisation.'
He noted that investment in the renewables segment could be by the company itself, in conjunction with partners and by going to the capital markets.
The company has established a new renewables business segment, called New Energy, which will be headed by Jan Eyvin Wang, currently senior vice president for strategic investments.
Wilhelmsen has implemented a number of initiatives over recent years in the renewables sector, including the establishment of offshore wind activities through NorSea Wind, Edda Wind, and Elevon and autonomous shipping through Massterly. Topeka is also a Wilhelmsen-led project to construct the world’s first zero emission hydrogen vessels.
Explaining the company’s decision to develop a ‘segment-specific’ approach to its activities, Wilhelmsen said: ‘In the next few decades, we will see a tremendous shift from oil and gas to renewable energy. The speed of change and investments needed, requires a dedicated focus to capitalise on the opportunities which will arise.
‘We will obviously build on our existing competencies, in-depth knowledge of the maritime industry, and what differentiates us from many players in the market, while exploring new opportunities and new partnerships. We want to establish a strong growth platform for solutions that will contribute to decarbonise our industry.’
The company’s maritime services segment, to be headed by Bjørge Grimholt, currently president of Wilhelmsen Ships Service, is expected to explore organic and horizontal growth of marine products, ship agency, and ship management over the next three to five years. Grimholt will also become member of the group management team.