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Norway plans to locate new €2bn green fund in oil capital Stavanger

A process is underway to appoint a board for new fund.

Norway plans to situate its new NOK20bn (€2.1bn) ‘Green Fund’, which will co-invest in green projects nationally and internationally, in its oil capital Stavanger.

Speaking to RI, Ola Elvestuen, a member of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) and co-deputy leader of the governing minority Venstre or Liberal Party, said after long discussions on where to locate the fund, Norway was now in the process of appointing its board.

Bergen and Trondheim were reportedly considered as locations for the new organisation, but the government decided on the Stavanger Area for its history of innovative companies. Oil and gas giant Statoil has its head office base in the region, as do many international oil and gas firms such as BP, Total and Shell.

Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Soviknes said: “Establishment of the company in Stavanger region will build on the knowledge and expertise in energy and finance in the region, but it is important for me to emphasise that the investment company’s responsibility is for the whole country, even joining domestic companies as they go international.”The new investment company, described as the ‘Green Fund’ or ‘Renewable Inc.’, is the brainchild of Venstre Deputy Leader Terje Breivik.

The company will invest in unlisted companies and through fund-of-funds solutions, according to Norway Today. RI understands that investment will be focused on Norway, but it could be international, provided there is a Norwegian link.

Elvestuen says his party had pushed the fund through Parliament to speed up a change in Norway away from oil and gas dependency. “We know where we need to go,” he said. “Less dependency on oil and gas. We’d like to have an industry on the forefront of green solutions.”

Elvestuen said there was currently disagreement between his Liberal Party and Norway’s finance ministry on how to capitalise the Fund, including how quickly the NOK20bn fund should be capitalised from Norway’s Budget.

It is expected to launch this year.