Will create a powerhouse for green energy and blue growth industries

Sandvikvåg Næringspark AS has entered into agreements with Hydrogen Solutions (HYDS) and NorSea Group for development, operation and establishment in the new industrial area which is in the north-east of Fitjar.

After securing a 150-acre area between the E39 and the Faroe Islands, just east of the Sandvikvåg ferry quay, Sandvikvåg Næringspark AS has signed letters of intent with NorSea Group and HYDS regarding establishment in the new business area. NorSea will take part in the development and is intended to be the operator of the industrial park, while HYDS wants to establish the production of green hydrogen.

– In Sandvikvåg Business Park, we have every opportunity to create a powerhouse for everything from green energy to blue growth industries and future oil and gas projects. The area is attractively located in the middle of the “crossroads” between Selbjørnsfjorden and Langenuen, with a short distance in and out of the North Sea, the three partners point out.

In order to get started with the development of the new business area, ABO Plan & Arkitektur Stord AS is engaged to prepare a zoning plan. The wish is for the plan to cover the entire 150-acre area the business park has an option on – including the shoreline and quay facilities.

Great need for infrastructure with access to the sea

Øyvind Bjørnevik, executive vice president for property at NorSea Group, highlights three industries in particular as relevant for the business park: Oil and gas, offshore wind and aquaculture. He points out that the prospects for the Norwegian oil and gas industry are good, both in the short and long term. Norway also has an ambition to develop 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2040, and the governing authorities want strong growth in the production of the aquaculture industry by 2050 – where much of the growth must take place in the form of farming out at sea and on land.

– In order to realize all the projects and create the desired growth in the marine industries, there is a great need for infrastructure with access to the sea. Today there is a shortage of such land in Sunnhordland and along the rest of the coast. Sandvikvåg Næringspark will therefore constitute an important growth, through access to the main lease at sea and E39 on land, the capacity to carry out area-intensive projects, competitive sailing distance to offshore wind areas and oil and gas fields, and short distances to a number of farming locations. With the hydrogen plans of HYDS, we also have the opportunity to develop the area into a renewable and green business park, believes Bjørnevik.

An ideal location for green hydrogen operation

HYDS (Hydrogen Solutions) is considering various alternatives for the hydrogen investment in the north of Fitjar.

– We are looking at the possibilities for establishing both the production, storage and distribution of green hydrogen. Sandvikvåg is very well suited for distribution both to the maritime industry, industry and heavy transport on land, and we are looking at solutions for an energy terminal. The city is also ideally located for a bunkering station for vessels that run on hydrogen, say daily manager Thor Henrik W. Hagen and project director Øyvind Dale in HYDS.

– In addition, by-products from hydrogen production, for example oxygen and waste heat, will be able to be used by neighboring businesses. It will help to reduce emissions and give the park an even greener profile, add the HYDS duo.

40-50 new jobs, increasing to 100-150

Sandvikvåg Næringspark, NorSea and HYDS estimate that the new business area can initially create between 40 and 50 permanent jobs. Then only the workforce needed for hydrogen production and distribution, port activities and a land-based breeding facility is included. Any employment from the other industrial plots and project-related workplaces is not included in the calculation.

– With Sandvikvåg Næringspark, Fitjar has a great chance to bring two important players on board in a future-oriented venture that will provide the municipality with jobs and value creation. We hope that together with the municipality, the county and the state administrator, we will manage to hammer out a good zoning plan that lays the foundation for development, say Kurt Arne Tyse and Erling Prestbø in Sandvikvåg Næringspark AS. The company will soon have fitjarbu and ex-mayor Agnar Aarskog as new chairman.

Image of four men outside Fitjar Rådhus
In the area behind them, southeast of the ferry quay in Sandvikvåg, Erling Prestbø (Sandvikvåg Næringspark) (tv), Kåre Haukereid (NorSea Group), Thor Henrik W. Hagen (HYDS) and Øyvind Dale (HYDS) will develop industry with a focus on the marine industries and green energy.