Norwegian marine services company, Wilhelmsen, and its majority-owned port logistics subsidiary, NorSea, have taken an 18% stake in Loke Marine Minerals, a Norwegian deep-sea mining entity established in 2019. They are co-investors with TechnipFMS, a subsea energy technology company, which also has an 18% holding.
Loke has developed a range of patent-pending technologies. Based on minimal impact and strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, they are designed to ensure that the company is front of grid as Norway prepares for its first mineral mining license application round on the country’s continental shelf (NCS).
According to a study conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the range of metals present on the NCS include those currently used in new technologies such as electric vehicle batteries, clean energy, and consumer electronics. The resources could be worth a total of USD 100 billion and support the creation of 20,000 new jobs, the study concluded.
John Stangeland, group CEO of Norsea, commented: “As the energy transition continues to gather pace, we are actively looking at new projects and business areas outside of the oil and gas industry, where NorSea’s unique port infrastructure and proven service and supply know-how can continue to be a key driver of success.
“The development of the seabed mineral industry in Norway is far from certain,” he conceded, “but partnering with a frontrunner like Loke, which has such focus on developing new technologies and systems to safely and sustainably extract minerals from Norwegian waters puts us in an interesting position.”
Following a public consultation, the Norwegian Government will now carry out a detailed environmental impact assessment prior to its final decision on license approval for exploration and production, likely in the second quarter of 2023.
Wilhelmsen takes stake in Norwegian deep-sea miner