As an industry, offshore wind power is currently like a light breeze, but it is expected to reach gale force within a few years.

“Development of the offshore wind sector is rapidly accelerating, and the oil and gas industry plays a big part in this development. There are numerous initiatives and joint ventures that are bound to translate into contracts and jobs in the Agder region,” says Tom Fidjeland, CEO of GCE NODE.

Agder Energi, one of Norway’s largest utilities and recently accepted as a participant in GCE NODE, has joined forces with HitecVision and Italian giant Eni with plans to enter the race for a license to build an offshore wind power farm in the Norwegian North Sea. Another GCE NODE participant, Arendals Fossekompani, is entering the same race in a joint venture with Ferd. A third GCE NODE participant, Norseman Wind, a consortium with among others National Oilwell Varco, Seafront, and OSM has been established for the same purpose.

“This goes to show that the Agder region has ambitions to take part in the growing offshore wind market, and perhaps even more importantly, the floating wind market,” says Fidjeland.

Firenor and Origo Solutions are among the regional companies that recently announced winning contracts in this market.

“A GCE NODE project, funded by Agder County and Sørlandets kompetansefond, concluded that Agder could play a big role in the emerging floating offshore wind industry. The project identified 18 market entries. By transferring competence and technology from the oil and gas industry, we have a unique opportunity to play a big role in a new and everlasting industry. The Agder region is well positioned to capture a huge part of this market,” says Fidjeland.

The GCE NODE project identified a value chain with nine segments and 18 work packages, which illustrate the various floating offshore wind business opportunities for companies in the Agder region. Among these opportunities are installation, service, anchoring, floating structures, decommissioning and more.

“This is a great conceptualization of the potential deliverables from our industry. It will take some time, but when floating offshore wind matures as an industry, it will be huge. At that point, we should have captured a sizeable part of it,” says Fidjeland.