Maritime group Wilhelmsen has announced that the company will be reforming its group portfolio to escalate growth of maritime services, renewable energy and decarbonisation. The company will be investing up to $500 million in renewable energy segment.
“Our strategy is very clear, we will contribute to the energy infrastructure transition and be an active player in decarbonisation,” group CEO at Wilhelmsen, Thomas Wilhelmsen says. “In addition to accelerating the transition of our existing businesses, we will invest in new businesses with the long-term aim of shifting from mainly oil and gas related activities to mainly activities related to the renewable sector. We foresee up to USD 500 million in new business investments related to the renewable segments over the next five years and expect to invest on our own, together with partners, and/or utilise the capital market.”
Wilhelmsen will be launching a new segment named New Energy. The company’s current senior vice president for strategic investments, Jan Eyvin Wang, will be the head of this segment.
“What makes Wilhelmsen unique to me, is our ability to continuously adapt to our surroundings whether that is because of customer needs, new regulatory requirements, or technological opportunities and that has enabled us to thrive for 160 years,” continues Wilhelmsen.
According to the company, the establishment on the New Energy segment is a continuation of several years of exploring renewable opportunities. This includes the ongoing transformation of NorSea, the establishment of offshore wind activities through NorSea Wind, Edda Wind, and Elevon, autonomous shipping through Massterly, decarbonisation solutions through RaaLabs, Ivaldi, the partnership with thyssenkrupp, and latest the vessel concept Topeka, which aims to be a pivotal point for commercial vessels running on hydrogen.
Wilhelmsen continued his comment on why a segment-specific structure is necessary now, he says:
“In the next few decades, we will see a tremendous shift from oil and gas to renewable energy. The speed of change and investments needed, requires a dedicated focus to capitalise on the opportunities which will arise. We will obviously build on our existing competencies, in-depth knowledge of the maritime industry, and what differentiates us from many players in the market, while exploring new opportunities and new partnerships. We want to establish a strong growth platform for solutions that will contribute to decarbonise our industry.”
“We are equally committed to continue to expand our top tier position as a supplier of sustainable maritime services and products. With a global reach and access to more than 50% of the world’s merchant fleet, we are in a unique position to have a positive impact on the whole industry. This is a responsibility we take seriously, and we also foresee substantial investments in this segment to truly live up to our mission as the enabler of sustainable global trade.”
Under the reformation, the maritime services segment will be headed by current president of Wilhelmsen Ships Service, Bjørge Grimholt. Grimholt is expected to explore organic and horizontal growth of marine products, ship agency, and ship management over the next three to five years, and will simultaneously become member of the group management team.