Joint effort to boost gas innovation

January 30, 2004, 09:30 CET

Several oil and energy companies are now joining forces to boost gas innovation in Norway. In a joint letter to the Ministry of Petroleum and energy, Hydro and the other signatories pointed out the need for speeding up innovation in relation to the practical application of gas in Norway.

"A state innovation company would be an effective tool for boosting innovation and the development of market-focused technology," says Hilde Tonne in Hydro. 

The Gas Report (report no. 9 to the Storting) has created broad political agreement on the need to establish a state innovation company for environmentally friendly gas technology in Grenland. The government has indicated that it will present a proposal for the organization and capitalization of this company to the Storting before the summer.

Need to speed up innovation

Hydro and the other signatories to the letter support the proposal in the Gas Report , but point out the importance of speeding up the rate of innovation, business development and value creation in relation to the practical application of gas in Norway.

"The industry wants to direct more focus to the commercialization of natural gas technology," says Hilde Tonne, who is responsible for Hydro's work on gas innovation and head of strategy for new forms of energy in Hydro.

Regional network already set up

Tonne adds that the group of companies will now consider various projects that could be covered by a state innovation company. Hydro is also involved in the formation of a regional network for gas innovation called "Gass Tek" together with several other industrial companies in Grenland, Kongsberg and Vestfold.

"The network was established in December last year, and could, in the future, form a good starting point for a regional, industry-run gas innovation centre," says Tonne. This could pave the way for major demonstration and pilot projects in environmental gas technology funded by allocations from a state innovation company.

"Grenland is a natural location for both a state innovation company and an innovation centre, as this region is a unique meeting place for research and industry in Norway," concludes Hilde Tonne.