Kvaerner, the international oil services, E&C, and Shipbuilding Group, today launched a new company with 18,000 employees in 17 countries and on five continents. The new company, to be known as 'Aker Kvaerner', will supply products, services, technology and solutions worth NOK 20 billion a year to the global oil and gas industry. Aker Kvaerner is the result of a merger between Aker Maritime and Kvaerner Oil & Gas, and forms one of four business areas within the Kvaerner Group. Subsidiaries of Aker Kvaerner have already won contracts totalling NOK 15.5 billion since the start of 2002, almost doubling the Group's order backlog in just over two months. The many companies embraced by the new organisation complement each other -- and Aker Kvaerner is solidly placed to maintain an aggressive commitment both in its traditional home markets and in other parts of the world.
In many of its business streams, the new company will rank among the world's leading players. It is strong, for instance, in advanced drilling equipment, subsea facilities, the management of large and complex platform tow-outs, and the installation of seabed equipment. Aker Kvaerner also embraces some of the most advanced solutions for both platforms and mooring systems in deep water. It has become one of the biggest players in the large UK and Norwegian markets for maintenance, modifications and operational support on production platforms.
Preparations for merging Aker Maritime and Kvaerner Oil & Gas have been completed in just over two months, with more than 250 employees directly involved in the integration work. In addition, personnel from the whole organisation have been drawn into the planning and preparatory process. Establishing a new organisation has been a key task. Since the beginning of January, potential candidates for senior roles have been nominated and thoroughly assessed prior to key posts being filled.
The merger of Aker Maritime and Kvaerner Oil and Gas represents a major milestone in Norwegian industrial history. With traditions going back almost two centuries, these companies are now joining forces to reinforce their position with oil industry customers. Aker Kvaerner will be a large and significant employer in a number of local Norwegian communities, and one of the biggest sources of private sector jobs in several places along Norway's coast. With some 12,500 employees in Norway, the new company ranks as one of the country's largest industrial employers.
Setting a new standard for health, safety and the environment at work is one of Aker Kvaerner's key targets, both out of concern for its employees and the company and as a competitive factor. "We'll be thinking HSE in everything we do, at all levels and all times," affirms Aker Kvaerner CEO, Sverre Skogen. "That's the only objective we can live with."