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Challenged by the chicken and egg problem

Dag Jostein Klever Chief Growth Officer at Moreld Minox.
By Linea Bancel|Published 25 March 2022|Category: News, Valley Voice

Dag Jostein Klever Chief Growth Officer at Moreld Minox is optimistic about the future and the opportunities in the energy transition.

Investments are rapidly increasing across the value chains but are still challenged by the chicken and egg problem. Time is of the essence and there is a need for a broader and more aggressive intensive from the government as the pace ramps up.

How can we ensure that competence and skills are transferred and applied from oil and gas across the entire value chain? 

– We have a great opportunity to apply methodology and skills from the oil and gas sector. We must ensure that all the valuable experience built in the oil and gas era is applied. One example is competence in risk assessment and mitigation methodology. I believe that if we apply methodologies, adapt to new industries, and build further we will gain a very competitive position. At the same time, we need to be aware of the industrial differences between offshore and onshore industries.

However, Klever thinks methods for reducing cost, increasing effectiveness while maintaining safety and integrity have enabled our industry to develop a skill set that will be of value for the energy transition. Enabling solutions might come from the oil and gas sector.

Moreld Minox, located in Notodden works with water deaeration. From the offices, they serve customers within the global offshore oil and gas industry as well as their onshore process industry. The Minox process was developed by Minox and Norsk Hydro’s Research center back in 1985-1990. The first unit was delivered to Saga Petroleum Snorre A Platform in 1991 (The current operator is Equinor).

What are you doing now?

– We are working on transitioning. This is part of the reason that I got this position. It is all about growth and how to grow, and at the same time, we are changing our mindset. This is quite challenging but super exciting! Says Klever, who thinks Moreld Minox has an excellent position to increase their contribution to the energy transition.

Their core technology has been a green alternative since its beginning. It provides a chemical-free and compact solution in water deaeration which significantly reduces the carbon footprint for their clients. With the competence in processing gas and liquids combined with their roots, Moreld Minox will provide compact and efficient processing solutions for hydrogen and carbon capture.

What would you say are the biggest challenges and opportunities in the future?

– For Minox the biggest challenge is being ambidextrous. The ability to lead and implement your core business effectively and at the same time transition – we want to perform this activity equally well with both our “hands”.

Klever is concerned that many companies will succumb because they are locked in their tracks and have invested too early in immature value chains.

– Changes and the drivers in the market are happening so fast that I think some might experience they have backed the wrong horse. It’s a typical chicken and egg situation where some parts of the value chain will have to wait for others. I believe that incentives and pilot programs must be further increased by the government to accelerate the transition. There is room for everyone in the market, but timing is critical and pace is a keyword.

Losing competence and knowledge is another challenge with the energy transition and something that keeps Klever awake at night.

– I know that there have been initiatives at a national level where you look at what we do with competence that is lost in the form of having to cut down and downsize and what do all these talented people do then? How can Norway make sure that those resources and that the competence is managed in a good way? We need to secure and build competence and one way to do this is through clusters and collaboration. I also strongly believe in collaboration between industry and academia which will accelerate innovation and competence.

Klever thinks that we must invest broader in the energy sector when trying to reduce emissions and provide enough energy for everyone. He also hopes that the reactions and sanctions as a result of the situation in Ukraine might speed up the energy transition in the industry.

The challenges are plenty, but the possibilities are limitless, says Klever, who believes it will be possible to reach net zero by 2050.

So, how is Moreld Minox working to achieve net zero by 2050? 

– We are investing heavily in transitioning and are working hard to help the industry reach net zero by 2050. ESG has been in focus since 2019 and will continue to be an important part of our company culture going forward.

All their products and services are contributing to a reduced carbon footprint. For carbon capture and hydrogen production, they have compact products that will make their customers more effective and competitive. These products are applicable in several stages of the value chain, explains Klever.

– Recently we had an internal brainstorming session and the ideas that were presented were mind-blowing! After sifting away the wildest “moon landings” we still had an amazing list of ideas. Right now, we are working to narrow this down and focus on what is most relevant within hydrogen and CCS. I believe we have a competitive edge and something to offer the market in years to come.

The way to get there is complex but here he says Energy Valley has an important role:

– By getting things on the agenda, debating, and raising the questions on a political level! You must interact on many levels to succeed. We are stronger together and I think the Norwegian industry will play an even more important role in serving the demand for clean energy.

The network and Energy Valley’s position are some of the things that make it valuable to be a member of the cluster, says Klever.

– Energy Valley is not just anyone! We have seen the effects of what a good cluster can do. Here you have a mix of energy sectors and sizes – some work locally and others work globally, and we can all teach each other different things without it costing anything.

Which Energy Valley member do you wish to send the baton to? 

– I would like to bass the baton to Schlumberger.

Thank you, Dag Jostein!