By Pratap John/ Business Editor
Norwegian multinational energy company Equinor, which is developing oil, gas, wind and solar energy in more than 30 countries worldwide, wants to establish local presence in Qatar, said Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjorn Roe Isaksen.
“They are standing on the shoulders of the long-lasting collaboration between Norwegian and Qatari industry,” Isaksen said in his remarks at the golden jubilee celebrations of Qafco at the Qatar National Convention Centre yesterday.
“The vision is to establish and grow a long-term sustainable energy business in Qatar – by co-operating within various areas, both internationally and locally. This morning the Kongsberg Group signed an agreement to reinforce their co-operation with Barzan Holdings on digitalisation in the maritime sector,” Isaksen said.
Hailing “50 years of industrial co-operation between Qatar and Norway”, he said, “Through half a century, knowledge, innovation and technology have been building blocks for our partnership in Qatar. It all started with the pioneering Norsk Hydro. Later the fertiliser division was demerged and became Yara. Hydro was quite simply the founding father of the industrial co-operation between Norway and Qatar. A collaboration we celebrate in 2019.”
Isaksen said, “The building of Qatar Fertiliser Company Qafco was truly initiating. It was the first major investment a Norwegian company had made abroad. Qafco represents the outset of a long-lasting Qatari-Norwegian industrial collaboration.
“Yara being a global leader in crop nutrition and fertigation is contributing to the production of sustainable, local farming of high-quality food products. This is in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal to achieve food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture.”
He said the Norwegian government expects all Norwegian companies to act responsibly. It does not make a difference whether they have their business in Norway or in other countries.
“However, when businesses go beyond the minimum expectations and make real contributions to some of the world’s common challenges, I must say it makes me proud!”
Isaksen said, “What really helped put Norway on the map in Qatar was the construction of Qatalum. Being the largest primary aluminium plant ever built in one phase. Many Norwegians and accompanying families stayed in Qatar during the construction period.
“Nowadays there are less Norwegians living in Qatar, but Hydro and Yara’s investments in Qatar are nevertheless of great importance for value creation in both Norway and Qatar. Several Norwegian companies are already present in Qatar, and a number of others are interested in the Qatari market.”
Isaksen said, “After fifty years of doing business together, you are all well aware of the fact that the sea is the mother of the most vital businesses in Norway. For decades, Norway has focused on developing technology in the offshore petroleum sector. Both automation and autonomy can provide additional environmental savings.”
Norwegian maritime industry, he said is a “world leader, including on autonomous ship based on advanced technology.”
This has given Norwegian companies “world-leading” expertise, which is significant in terms of cost reductions, climate-efficient solutions and digitisation. Much of this technology and experience is now also relevant in production of offshore wind, where the global market is growing rapidly.
“Today, we are celebrating 50 years of successful collaboration and friendship. Through five decades, we have built a sound basis – on appreciation and trust. I am looking forward to develop our future relations,” Isaksen added.
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