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Is this the end of Wilhelmsen as we know it?

Wilhelmsen sets up to USD 500 million investment target for renewables

Press release: Wilhelmsen re-designs organisation of group portfolio to intensify growth of maritime services and renewable energy and decarbonisation.

“Our strategy is very clear, we will contribute to the energy infrastructure transition and be an active player in decarbonisation,” says Thomas Wilhelmsen, group CEO at Wilhelmsen. “In addition to accelerating the transition of our existing businesses, we will invest in new businesses with the long-term aim of shifting from mainly oil and gas related activities to mainly activities related to the renewable sector. We foresee up to USD 500 million in new business investments related to the renewable segments over the next five years and expect to invest on our own, together with partners, and/or utilise the capital market.” The new segment, which has been named New Energy, will be headed up by Jan Eyvin Wang, currently senior vice president for strategic investments.

“What makes Wilhelmsen unique to me, is our ability to continuously adapt to our surroundings whether that is because of customer needs, new regulatory requirements, or technological opportunities and that has enabled us to thrive for 160 years,” continues Wilhelmsen.

Being part of the group’s DNA, the establishment on the New Energy segment is a continuation of several years of exploring renewable opportunities. This includes the ongoing transformation of NorSea, the establishment of offshore wind activities through NorSea Wind, Edda Wind, and Elevon, autonomous shipping through Massterly, decarbonisation solutions through RaaLabs, Ivaldi, the partnership with thyssenkrupp, and latest the vessel concept Topeka to mention some, which aims to be a pivotal point for commercial vessels running on hydrogen.

On why a segment-specific structure is necessary now, Wilhelmsen says: “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.”

“We are equally committed to continue to expand our top tier position as a supplier of sustainable maritime services and products. With a global reach and access to more than 50% of the world’s merchant fleet, we are in a unique position to have a positive impact on the whole industry. This is a responsibility we take seriously, and we also foresee substantial investments in this segment to truly live up to our mission as the enabler of sustainable global trade.” The 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 simultaneously become member of the group management team.

The final segment – strategic and financial investments – includes shareholdings in Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Treasure ASA/Hyundai Glovis, Qube and the group’s liquidity portfolio.

The quarterly report, starting with the report for the first quarter 2021, will reflect the new segmentation.

About Author

Craig Eason Stockholm
Craig Eason is the owner and editorial director of Fathom.World. He has a background in the shipping industry having started his career as a cadet on oil tankers and gas carriers before becoming a navigating officer on a range of vessel types. A change in career, with ensuing university studies, and he has now gained 20 years experience in written and broadcast journalism. He now is in demand as a knowledgeable and competent editor and event host and moderator, both for in-house events and ones for the public.