EXCLUSIVE: Aker to follow Norway’s state-owned oil giant with major new investment in Scottish offshore floating wind-driven power stations

A Statoil Hywind floating turbine, anchored in the Buchan Deep off Peterhead.
A Statoil Hywind floating turbine anchored in the Buchan Deep off Peterhead.

EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News

Norway’s Aker Solutions is following its state-owned rival Statoil with plans to invest in floating offshore wind turbine electricity platforms in the North Sea.

It has taken an equity staken in floating wind power generator Principle Power Inc., forming an alliance to bring its offshore oil and gas field engineering expertise into a fast-growing renewable energy market.

Aker has a track record in developing offshore oil and gas fields, with particular capabilities in floating facilities. The partnership will help bring Principle Power’s technology – an innovative floating foundation for offshore wind turbines, known as WindFloat – to a broader market.

The alliance is looking to build in offshore locations off Scotland and Asia.

Statoil last year launched its Hywind Scotland floating wind-drive turbine electricity generating station in the Buchan Deep off Peterhied.

Principle Power’s WindFloat foundation allows wind turbines to be placed at offshore sites with some of the most abundant wind resources, irrespective of water depths. Installation, operation and maintenance of the WindFloat foundation lower the risks, costs and environmental impact compared with competing technology.

Aker Solutions’ chief executive Luis Araujo explained: “We see a major opportunity in offshore EU floating wind where demand is growing in the transition to a low-carbon future

 “Combining our capabilities with Principle Power’s technology will help advance floating solutions for offshore wind, reducing costs and risks for customers and spurring further growth in the sector.”

João Metelo, chief executive, Principle Power, added: “Partnering with Aker will strengthen our leading market position and accelerate the wider development of the offshore wind industry, with floating wind acting as a key industry enabler at a time when demand is increasing globally.”

Aker has acquired a five percent stake in Principle Power which it plans to increase to 10 percent by the end of this year. The companies did not disclose the value of this investment stake.

Aker also announced its 4Q2017 quarterly results from oil and gas upstream North Sea operations:

  • Revenue NOK 6.4 billion
  • EBITDA NOK 458 million
  • EBITDA margin 7.1%
  • EBITDA ex. special items NOK 482 million
  • EBITDA margin ex. special items 7.5%
  • Earnings per share ex. special items NOK 0.55
  • Order intake NOK 13.4 billion
  • Order backlog NOK 34.6 billion

Aker Chief executive Luis Araujo said: “We’re seeing increasing signs of recovery as break-even costs come down and more projects are sanctioned, particularly offshore Norway where we are well-positioned,

“The outlook for North Sea oil services remains challenging as exploration projects continue to be postponed and there is pressure on pricing.

“Still, there are increasing signs of a recovery – particularly offshore Norway – where there is a pick-up in activity and in the brownfield segment where oil companies are focusing on optimisng output from existing fields.

“Industry efficiency improvements are bringing down break-even costs on developments, which is spurring more project sanctions.”

8 Feb 2012

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