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"An honour to wield the first spade for Ormen Lange"

April 16, 2004, 20:30 CEST

Aukra's mayor, Aud Mork, put the first spade in the ground at the construction site for the Ormen Lange onshore processing plant at Nyhamna on Friday. Norway's currently largest development project has started.

"It's a great pleasure for me to be able to put the first spade in the ground for one of the largest industrial developments in the history of Norway," said Aud Mork before she thrust the spade in the ground in the area where the pipelines carrying gas from the Ormen Lange field will come onshore.

The historic occasion at Nyhammna was attended by around 50 people from the host municipality Aukra, the neighbouring municipality Fræna, Møre og Romsdal county and the county governor and local business organizations, in addition to the operator companies Hydro and Shell.

The two operator companies are responsible for the development and operation respectively of the Ormen Lange field in the North Sea. There were also a number of representatives from the press.

The mayor pointed out that the whole of the local council welcomed Ormen Lange to Aukra. The local authority has already laid the first gas pipes with a view to local consumption of natural gas.

"I feel a great sense of reverence today and am excited for the future. We can already see the first spill-over effects in the local community through the securing of the electricity supply and the improved ferry connection. I would like to commend Hydro for exemplary communication with the local inhabitants during the process so far," said Mork.

Good to feel welcome
Before the mayor put the first spade in the ground, Terje Uthus provided some information on the development. He is Hydro's project manager for the onshore processing plant.

"It's good to feel welcome. We have had a first-rate cooperation with the local authorities. Now it is up to us to ensure that these good relations continue," said Uthus.

The first diggers and bulldozers have already arrived at the construction site at Nyhamna. Uthus says that there will soon be between 300 and 400 people working in the area. The greatest activity will be at the beginning of 2006, when between 2,000 and 2,500 people will be at work.

Friday was also a big day for senior vice president Bengt Lie Hansen, who is chairman of the Ormen Lange licence.

"I have been looking forward to this day several years. This is a big day Norway as well as the local community and the licensees in Ormen Lange.

"Focused efforts have led to the start phase of this giant project, which will cost NOK 66 billion. This is the start of a great industrial adventure both on land and at sea. The area we are standing in will be the site of the most modern process plant in the industry," said Lie Hansen.

Read more about Ormen Lange