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Gale force: Norway is investing heavily in its wind power projects In December, Norway’s petroleum and


energy minister Tina Bru announced that the Norwegian government was investing €11.3m into a new wind energy research centre to fur- ther its development. “Rapid growth in offshore wind power


internationally offers great opportunities for Norwegian businesses,” said Ms Bru. Meanwhile, foreign investors have ramped


up their activity in Norway’s onshore market, announcing seven wind farm developments since March 2019, according to fDi Markets. This includes Germany-based asset managers Luxcara and MEAG’s plans to finance a 294MW wind cluster in Bjerkreim — the output from which will supply socialmedia giant’s Facebook Nordic data centres under a 15-year agreement. “Despite being heavily reliant on oil and gas


revenues, Norway has a huge amount of hydro power capacity and a relatively cool climate, making it an attractive location for operations that need a lot of power and generate a lot of heat,” says Mr Douetil, who points to data cen- tres and battery plants as examples. “This aligns with the increasing focus on


renewables and the green agenda that these companies are targeting,” he adds.


Data centre drive Boosted by the Norwegian government’s national data centre strategy, launched in 2018 with tax reductions, several foreign companies have moved to set up in the country, including


February/March 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


US-based consortium Silent Partner International and tech giant Microsoft. Morerecently, inNovember2020,Hamburg-


based Aquila Capital announced plans to build an exclusively renewable energy-powered data centre close to Oslo. Roman Rosslenbroich, the chief executive and co-founder of Aquila Capital, said in a statement that “the growing data centremarket offers investors an attractive investment environment with sustainable return opportunities”.


Traditional strengths But despite a diversification drive,Norway is set to continue tapping its abundant oil reserves, with production expected to rise by 19% through to 2024, according to S&P Global Platts. Foreign investors have followed suit, with Canadian oil and gas producer Zenith Energy and the UK Exceed both setting up a subsidiary in Stavanger, the country’s energy capital, in 2020. Foreign companies also entered Norway’s


other traditional industries during 2020, such as aquaculture and maritime, including UK-based Ace Aquatec, a technology developer that opened a new office in Bergen to meet growing demand in the Norwegian market. Chief executive of Ace Aquatec, Nathan Pyne- Carter, saidthatNorway “ishometo someof the largest and most sophisticated farmed salmon producers in the world, as well as the best cen- tres for research and development work”.■


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