The Norwegian shipping company has signed an agreement with Østensjø to invest in its offshore wind segment, Edda Wind, and has hinted at a future move towards hydrogen as a marine fuel.
As per the agreement, Wilhelmsen will acquire 25% of Edda Wind. The parties did not disclose any details related to the financial transaction.
Launched in 2018, Edda Wind owns and operates service vessels supporting the maintenance work conducted during the commissioning and operation of offshore wind parks.
Commenting on the agreement, CEO of the Wilhelmsen group, Thomas Wilhelmsen, said: ‘The Wilhelmsen group’s strategy is very clear: to further expand into renewables, by working together with partners, and leveraging our expertise and assets. So, finding an opportunity like this to work with Østensjø and invest in Edda Wind, a growing company, rapidly expanding its fleet with future-focused emission free vessel technologies is ideal.’
Commenting on potential synergies, Wilhelmsen said the company was ‘uniquely equipped’ to help unlock Edda Wind’s ‘enormous potential’, adding, ‘we also know a thing or two about hydrogen as a marine fuel, which might come in handy for the future vessels.’
Edda Wind currently has two vessels in service, and four cutting edge, low-emission service vessels on order with yards. Long-term charter agreements are in place for two of the newbuilds ahead of their expected delivery in 2022. Østensjø Rederi will continue to manage the Edda Wind fleet.
Earlier this month, Wilhelmsen announced that it was deepening its ties with Hyundai Glovis to focus on, among other things, ‘conducting research into alternative vessel fuels, such as liquefied hydrogen.’