CCB - with wind in their sails
A new Sotra road system, a cargo port at Ågotnes, minerals at the bottom of the sea, and not least prospects for a huge wind power development in the North Sea, open up new opportunities for the CCB group.
The CCB group, which has its headquarters at the CCB base at Ågotnes, has wind in its sails. The news that Equinor plans to build a wind farm in the ocean outside of Bergen that can supply offshore installations and the Bergen area with 1GW of electricity annually from 2027 is received with joy and anticipation at the base in Øygarden.
– We envision that CCB at Ågotnes can take on an important role in operation and maintenance, and perhaps become a competence center for offshore wind, says CEO Øyvind A Langedal.
Gain knowledge and expertise
In this context, he sees the partnership with GCE Ocean Technology as very valuable.
Offshore wind is one of the tracks the cluster follows closely on the road to developing green energy sources.
– GCE Ocean Technology can offer us a lot. As a partner, we gain access to knowledge and expertise that will be very valuable in the development of services related to offshore wind. We also become part of an extensive network, where GCE Ocean Technology has an overview of which actors can and do what, and in which direction the technology development is going. It is of great help to us, says Langedal.
Cultivating green projects
Wind power is obviously a topic where CCB has GCE Ocean Technology behind them, and the list of other green projects that the group is working on, or will start working on, is also long. Subsea circular economy, hydrogen production with CO2 recovery, energy optimization on rigs and ships together with Odfjell, and self-driving vessels at the base at Mongstad, to name a few.
– We have carried out a preliminary project, and will soon start a pilot project where we operate autonomous machines at the base at Mongstad. These self-propelled transport vehicles will pick up return containers from supply boats, and deliver full containers back. In the future, the wagons will run on electricity or other emission-free fuel, and be a useful contribution to reducing our environmental footprint, says Jan-Dagfinn Lund, managing director of the subsidiary Coast Center Base AS.
In the autumn, an exciting project will also start, where CCB together with cluster member PSW will connect a hydrogen fuel cell to one of the four onshore power plants at Ågotnes and supply one hundred percent clean energy. The hydrogen will eventually be produced from natural gas with capture of CO2, which in turn will be pumped down and stored under the seabed.
Minerals at the bottom of the sea
The possibilities of being able to extract minerals at the bottom of the sea is another area that creates interest. At CCB, they are convinced that this is an emerging industry, and that the base can play an important role in handling this market. The vulnerability of businesses related to securing access to important minerals and metals has been further highlighted by the war in Ukraine and by China's delivery problems.
– This market is immature, and we do not know what role we will have in this, but we are following the developments closely. The partnership with CGE Ocean Technology will come in handy here as well. There is a long way to go until the extraction of minerals on the seabed is realised, but we have time to wait. Our basic activities with oil and offshore are long-term, and the developments are now mainly linked to existing fields and are largely based on subsea operations. We have a long time horizon, and can stay on course with our core business while putting even more pressure on business development within a sustainable energy transition.
In time, the new freight port and new Sotra road system will also lay the foundation for increased activity at the base and throughout Øygarden. For CCB, it will bring increased attention from traditional industries in and around Bergen. These will naturally turn their attention towards Ågotnes, which will lay the foundation for increased activity in industries other than oil and offshore, Langedal believes.
– Owning a large business park with over one kilometer of quays will never go out of fashion. But we have to keep up and be able to change with the changing surroundings and move in a greener direction. We are in an excellent position to implement that.
CCB is one of 18 partners from industry, R&D, academia and public bodies, who have recently signed a new 5-year agreement with GCE Ocean Technology.
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