"The Tratec group is a supplier to a number of industries,” explains CEO Bent-Ståle Johansen.

“Building an increasingly diversified portfolio has served us well. 2020 ended far better than expected,” says Bent-Ståle Johansen.

A long-standing CEO of Tratec Norcon, Johansen recently took over as CEO of the entire Tratec Group, which also includes Tratec Halvorsen, Tratec Teknikken, Tratec AS Elektrisk and Tratec Solutions.

The companies are mainly located in the Agder region, and can be summarized as suppliers of electrical, piping, automation and mechanical disciplines to the industry sector, offshore, infrastructure, construction and also households.

“Serving several industries and markets has been a good strategy, especially in 2020, which proved to be such a difficult year for many. I think we handled the corona crisis in a good way, both with regards to human resources and financials. Our 2020 figures are positive, and all of our companies have a solid order backlog for 2021,” says Johansen.

For many years, some of the Tratec companies were major suppliers to the oil and gas industry. However, following the oil price collapse in 2014, just about the same time that Johansen joined Tratec Norcon, oil and gas became a marginal market. This sudden change necessitated a strategical turnaround for parts of the group, including Tratec Norcon.

“In Tratec Norcon we embarked on a journey to transform the company from a major oil and gas supplier to become a strong supplier of automation systems to the road infrastructure sector. We have been successful in doing this, and today road infrastructure is a larger market for Tratec Norcon than the oil and gas sector ever was,” says Johansen.

He took over as CEO of Tratec when founder and majority owner William Willumsen stepped down. Willumsen is still active as the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“We were very pleased to recruit internally. Bent-Ståle has done a great job in our restructuring process. He knows the Tratec group very well and we know him, says Willumsen.

Bent-Ståle Johansen has lived most of his life in Kristiansand. He has a master’s degree in material technology and another one in technology management. Prior to joining Tratec Norcon, Johansen was CEO of Schibsted Trykk Kristiansand and Schibsted Trykk Stavanger.

“I thrive at Tratec, in large thanks to good colleagues who have invaluable experience and strong expertise. Going forward, we will continue to promote management and employees in each company, and constantly look for new collaboration opportunities,” says Johansen.

Since its inception in 1996, Tratec has made several strategic acquisitions. The latest came in August when Roxel Energy in Stavanger was acquired and merged with Tratec Agdermaskin under the company name Tratec Solutions.

“Roxel Energy has a good foothold in two exciting segments of the logistics market, namely parcel handling in post terminals and baggage handling systems at airports,” says Johansen.

“Logostics is an exciting market for Tratec Solutions, but also for Tratec Norcon which complements the mechanical logistics solutions we design at Forus by delivering control and monitoring systems. This enables us to offer complete product packages. We recently established an automation department in Stavanger, and we have already hired our first engineer here,” says Johansen.

Tratec Solutions is also a leading third-party supplier within overhaul, parts and service of offshore rigs and drilling equipment, and is currently experiencing increased demand. In addition, Tratec Halvorsen is heavily involved in the giant project Jotun FPSO, the production ship that is now being refurbished at the Rosenberg shipyard in Stavanger.

“The offshore market is important for the Tratec Group today and will be for several years”, says Johansen.