A shift towards a greener economy

Norwegian Shipowners’ Association Annual Conference

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 [Introduction]

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be here.

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association is probably the most innovative organization of its kind. We are very grateful for the contribution the Shipowners’ Association – and its members – gives to make the shift towards a greener economy.

It is one of the main topics today – but more than this: It is something you work on every day.

When our Prime Minister addressed this conference last year, she said:

“It is incredibly important to be aware that the oil activities most likely will level out. (…)

In the years to come we have to put competitiveness of other industries on the agenda – for the sake of future generations”. 

Although we are not at the end of the Norwegian oil and gas adventure – we have started a new, green chapter in our industrial history.

And when we turn the page to a greener and more knowledge-based economy– the maritime sector plays a very important part.

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[Green solutions]

To reach our ambition on green shipping, we need to rethink the status quo. And this goes for the government as well. This is one of the main reasons why we are working on a new maritime strategy.

The work is extensive and has impacted the work in my Ministry since we took office. I know many have great expectations for the strategy, and I plan to deliver.

The strategy will be presented in early June.

The government has many ambitions for the maritime industry.

  • We want to encourage green growth;
  • we want to see existing technology used in new ways, and
  • we want to see more Norwegian flagged vessels

In order to increase economic growth we need greener solutions. This will create new advantages for future generations.

***

I am pleased to confirm that the Norwegian maritime industry is already heading in a green direction.

  • In October last year I had the honour of naming the world’s first passenger ferry that runs on batteries. The ferry was awarded Ship of the Year in 2014.
  • Another example is Color Line, which has built power connections in the harbours of Oslo and Kristiansand. This will save the environment for the same amount of pollution as produced by 1.300 cars a year.
  • Last, but not least: Environmentally-friendly maritime fuel, such as LNG, is an important feature of the Norwegian maritime industry.

The first LNG-ferry was put in to operation by the Norwegian government 15 years ago. This was done...

-          to pursue an environmental course,

-          and to gain experience with the technology

-          and to explore new areas for the use of natural gas from the Norwegian continental shelf.

LNG has also entered the global stage. And today, Norwegian LNG competence has become an export article.

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[Blue growth – adjusting to a greener economy]

Each year the government spend 1 billion kroner on industrial research for the maritime sector, the oil and gas sector and the seafood industry.

But there is an un-used potential to apply technology across these industries. They need to interact even more and make use of each others’ innovations.

There are good examples to inspire us: Like Ulstein, which recently signed a contract with a German company to build two wind service vessels. This is its first contract with the wind industry – but hopefully not the last.

A shift towards a greener economy requires that we use technology from the oil and gas sector in new ways. Oil technology is already being transformed to monitor heart patients, to charge electric cars, to construct field hospitals – and even to explore the geology on other planets.

This is the future!

[Summary]

The oceans are an important source for food and energy. As much as 90 percent of all goods are transported on the world seas. But this traffic only generates about 3 percent of all emissions.

Norway has a great advantage:

  • We have the world’s 10th largest merchant fleet,
  • The second largest offshore fleet,
  • And we are in possession of one of the most complete maritime industrial clusters in the world.

In order to strengthen our position, we must adjust. We must continue to come up with some of the most innovative maritime products in the global market. 

The oil and gas industry will be vital also in the future – especially because of the innovative technology coming from this sector.  However, a new, green chapter is being written. Our new maritime strategy will address the challenges that lie ahead.

Thank you very much for your attention!