Great success for public Centennial event in Oslo

August 28, 2005, 14:00 CEST

Hydro's Centennial celebration in Oslo turned into a giant public event without precedent in the capital of Norway. More than 120,000 people converged on Frognerparken on Saturday evening to see and hear superstars a-ha in concert - all for free.

Earlier in the day Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø and the Hydro-sponsored Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra lifted the crowds' spirits with their rendition of "The Lord of the Rings Symphony".

Hydro tent

In the massive Hydro tent in Frognerparken – the largest tent ever erected in Norway – President and CEO Eivind Reiten held a stirring address for the many thousands of Oslo employees and their families who had turned out for the event.

"This is a fantastic day to be the head of Hydro, and it's marvellous to be able to go on a "tenting trip" with so many of you that in various ways have a close relationship with Hydro," said Reiten.

"It's also fantastic to know that we are gathered here with Frognerparken as the setting, at the same time as we have invited the whole of Oslo's population to join us. We couldn't have wished for more as we celebrate that our great, innovative and successful company is rounding 100 years," he said.

"We're not shutting ourselves away"

He pointed out that the centennial event in Frognerparken was an excellent opportunity to profile Hydro externally. "There are lots of people who have gained insight into what we stand for, through the lead up to and carrying through of this event," he said.

"So here we are, in the middle of Frognerparken, and we're also carrying out many such events throughout the year – not as large as this one, but some smaller and some larger events around the world in the 40 countries where Hydro does business. We don't shut ourselves away to celebrate. No, we want to share it with the society that we are an important part of, and that is so important to us."

Thanks to all employees

Turning his attention to the employees of Hydro, he said: "It is first and foremost you that have made a fantastic celebration on this scale possible. It is you that have ensured that we are world's third largest aluminium company, and that we are a leading company in the oil industry. Recent weeks have shown how we are succeeding, that we are finding ever more oil and gas, and that we're building brick-by-brick the Hydro of the future, in five, ten, fifteen and twenty-five years. That is every much something to celebrate as the hundred years we have behind us."

"I feel therefore first and foremost that I want to give heartfelt thanks to every one of you in Hydro who makes an effort each and every day to building this marvellous great company," said Reiten.

He also made a special mention of all the family members gathered around the tables in the Hydro tent in Frognerparken "who lend out your cherished family members to hard and good work," as he expressed it.

"The fact that we have listened to Sissel Kyrkjebø with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in the "Lord of the Rings Symphony", and that later this evening we will be enjoying a-ha, is an expression of that when Hydro decides to do something, and when we decide to share, we don't do things by halves. "You can think big even in a small country" is our motto for this evening," said Reiten.

Bergen next Saturday

Saturday September 3 marks the next great event sponsored by Hydro, this time the venue being Festplassen in Bergen. The main attraction will be Sissel Kyrkjebø and the Oslo Philharmonic with the Lord of the Rings Symphony, where Annbjørg Lien, the Sølvguttene boys' choir, Bergen Opera Choir and Oslo Bach choir will participate.

Hydro's centennial celebrations in Bergen begin at 4pm and will last until 10pm. A string of atists will take part, among them Nathalie Nordnes, William Hut and Ralph Meyers & the Jack Herren Band.