Developing sustainable energy

September 23, 2002, 15:00 CEST

A drive to develop business opportunities in sustainable production and renewable energy has been launched by Statoil.

Through its recently-established business development unit for new energy, the group is focusing attention on four principal areas.

These are renewable energy, energy efficiency, handling of carbon dioxide and hydrogen as an energy bearer.

“We’re concentrating on areas where we have expertise and where our profitability requirements are met,” says Hanne Lekva, manager for new energy.

Her development unit is responsible for producing wood pellets in Norway, where Statoil ranks as market leader.

It has a 66.6 per cent holding in Norsk Trepellets, which owns a plant in Brumunddal north of Oslo. A new plant is due to come on stream at Sykkylven in mid-Norway next summer.

Statoil is also involved in producing wood pellets in Sweden and Denmark, and holds 15 per cent of the Scandinavian market.

The new energy development unit also has responsibility for the group’s 24.1 per cent interest in Hammerfest Strøm, which is involved in tidal power development in northern Norway.

A first prototype of the generating plant is due to be installed in the Kval Sound outside the port of Hammerfest during November.

Hammerfest Strøm is developing the technical concept and will market complete tidal power systems. Ms Lekva says that Statoil’s expertise with subsea systems has made a key contribution.

In the energy efficiency sector, the development unit will concentrate on micro-power stations through a 48 per cent holding in EC-Power. This company makes complete self-regulating systems.

These facilities can generate six to 17 kilowatts of electricity, and have an energy efficiency of more than 90 per cent.

“Continental Europe offers relevant market outlets for such micro-power stations,” Ms Lekva notes.