Hydro and WINGAS set up joint venture

December 11, 2003, 09:00 CET

Hydro and the German gas transportation and supply company, WINGAS GmbH, have decided to set up a joint venture for the marketing and sales of natural gas in the UK.

"Both Hydro and Wingas wish to establish a UK presence. Joining forces also means cost effectiveness and complementarity in competence and experience," says Hilde Myrberg, Senior Vice President in Norsk Hydro.

The 50/50 joint venture company is called HydroWingas Limited. Subject to approval from the EU Competition Authority, it will start marketing and sales activities in the spring of 2004 and aim to rapidly expand its operations from then on.

The company is planned  to be based in Twickenham outside London. The scope of business is to sell natural gas directly to major industrial end customers as well as to redistributors.

HydroWingas is an independent company and will purchase the required gas from the market, third parties or from the owners.

Since domestic production of natural gas is decreasing, the UK will become increasingly dependent on imports over the coming years.

"By entering the market as a competitive and service-oriented supplier, we will be making a considerable contribution to the long-term, reliable supply of the country with natural gas, the energy of the future," explained Dr. Rainer Seele, spokesman for the WINGAS board of management.

At the same time the joint venture will benefit early on from the UK market's resultant potential for growth.

"As energy companies with considerable experience in Continental gas sales we wish, through HydroWingas, to establish a position in the UK and participate in the future energy supplies to this market, in particular on the background of the Ormen Lange field and pipeline development, Hilde Myrberg in Hydro says.

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