On Monday, our founding President and Member of the Board of Directors for 9 years, Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl concluded her appointment as President of the Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce, and will remain on the Board of Directors. Ms Demetriades Toftdahl has been appointed as Chief Executive Australia for Dubai Chamber and will look after their Australia launch in a full time capacity. We thank Ms Demetriades Toftdahl for her commitment, drive and passion to the Norwegian Community and wish her all the best with the launch of Dubai Chamber Australia. Our next election is at the AGM on December 7.
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Congratulations to our proud members Viking Cruises for their recent accolades! Viking was recently named as the Best Luxury River and Ocean Line of 2023 by Luxury Travel Advisor, marking their 8th time winning the award.
This makes them the only line to be named best in both the river and ocean categories for 4 years. To see more on Viking's wide range of exciting expeditions and state-of-the-art ships, head over to: https://bit.ly/3rcZODP.
As the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off, we're eagerly cheering on the Norwegian women's football team in their pursuit to become world champions! Their arrival in Australia & New Zealand was highly anticipated, as featured last week on ABC News Breakfast (below), showcasing our celebrations from this year's Constitution Day event.
Despite Norway's unfortunate 1-0 loss in the World Cup opener to hosts New Zealand, the team will be determined to bounce back. We'll be eagerly watching Norway's upcoming matches against Switzerland (July 25, 6PM AEST) and the Philippines (July 30, 5PM AEST) as they look to advance from the group stage and go all the way!
Founded and based in the Norwegian town of Skudeneshavn, Solstad is one of the largest offshore service vessel (OSV) companies of its kind, operating its advanced vessels worldwide in markets including Europe, Brazil, Asia, and Australasia, with over 3,400 employees. Solstad’s state-of-the-art vessels, alongside its expertise from over 55 years of experience, help support its partners in the offshore energy industry, both in petroleum and renewables.
Solstad has sought to become an industry leader in operating sustainably within global offshore energy, with ambitions of reducing fleet emissions to net zero by 2050. The implementation of the Solstad Green Operations (SGO) program in 2009 has been instrumental in guiding this vision, helping Solstad monitor its environmental footprint and take steps towards a better environment.
With its abundance of natural resources and booming offshore energy sector, Australia has emerged as a crucial market for Solstad, with a head office currently based in the city of Perth. Specifically, Australia has served as a primary global oil and gas market, contributing nearly a quarter of Solstad’s operating income for 2021.
Recent activity in Australia includes having been awarded a two-year contract in mid-2022 for its platform supply vessel (PSV) Normand Swan from a major energy company. Other major vessels have also been in operation, including three of Solstad's Anchor-handling vessels (AHTS), along with the PSV Normand Leader, providing offshore support across the coast of Western Australia.
As Solstad continues on its path of financial success and sustainable growth, it aims to maintain its position as a trusted global leader in offshore shipping, recognised for its operational excellence.
Website: Solstad Offshore
The aim of the summit is to unite government, industry and academic thought leaders. Together, they will explore different approaches towards accelerating smarter, safer and more sustainable transport by leveraging the expanding capabilities of modern technology.
The Q-Free team will be at the summit to promote their exciting Tolling and Traffic Management portfolio, as well as demonstrating its award-winning C-ITS road safety application, participating in important discussions and holding a key-note speech.
If you want to be part of this great event in Australia, read more and get your ticket here: https://its-australia-summit-2023.joyn-us.app/
The 2023 Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival, now in its ninth year, is showcasing the best contemporary cinema from the Nordic region, selected from international film festivals and markets such as Göteborg, Cannes and Berlin.
A specially curated programme will be screening at Palace Cinemas, Luna Palace Cinemas and Palace Nova Cinemas from 13 July to 9 August, encompassing films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Opening the Festival is the Australian Premiere of LET THE RIVER FLOW, based on true events and starring magnetic newcomer Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen. Festival Centrepiece GODLAND is award-winning Icelandic writer/director Hlynur Pálmason’s follow-up to his breakout hit A White, White Day, and Special Presentation Aki Kaurismäki’s tragicomedy FALLEN LEAVES comes direct from the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
Exploring culture, history and life in the Nordic region, a host of Australian premieres bring high calibre and award-winning Scandinavian films to Australian cinema screens this July.
Tickets are now on sale at https://scandinavianfilmfestival.com/
This week the Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce President Sophia Demetriades participated in the Council’s recent Business Roundtable with Dr Markus Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope.
In the wake of the US’s Industrial Relations Act (IRA) and the EU’s response, Markus Beyrer provided an update on the policy landscape in the EU, implications for the international trade and investment environment, and the key risks and opportunities for businesses in Australia and Europe.
The Director-General began by reaffirming the importance of the EU remaining an open economy and competitive economy, while undergoing the transformation to net zero. Addressing the reaction in the EU to the US’s IRA, and subsequent transatlantic tensions, he noted the support for the objectives of the plan while highlighting concerns over its the discriminatory elements posing an existential threat to EU industries. After facing a series of global crises, he underlined the seismic impact of the war in Ukraine on Europe, most acutely for energy prices. At the peak in August 2022, Europe was experiencing an increase of gas prices of 1100% as compared to 200% in the US and 100% in Japan.
The combination of these two asymmetric shocks has necessitated a comprehensive reflection on EU industrial competitiveness and FDI attractiveness to address the pull factor of the IRA, as well as the significant push factors. The most impactful of which are the long-term rise in energy costs (still significantly higher than competitors out to 2025) and significantly higher regulatory burden for companies. With regard to the latter, he noted the fall in FDI of 66% between 2019-2021, as compared to a 63% increase for the US, coming pre-energy crisis. To address the decline in competitiveness, BusinessEurope has been advocating for four key elements:
- Less and better regulation – Positive recent developments include the commitment to new competitiveness checks for all new legislation (including looking at the cumulative impact) and the development of a proposal to reduce reporting requirements by 25% (to be delivered in Autumn).
- Secure energy supply at competitive prices – In addition to the investment in renewables already underway, the Commission is now seeking to revise the electricity market design with initiatives designed to reduce the exposure of industry and consumers to price volatility.
- A broad industrial strategy flanking the European Green Deal - In February 2023, the Commission unveiled its Green Deal Industrial Plan, followed by the Net-Zero Industry Act and the Critical Raw Materials Act. These will focus on creating the enabling environment (including reducing red tape and fast-tracking procedures) to achieve a target of at least 40% of clean technologies manufactured in the EU by 2030 and to boost domestic production, ramp up recycling and diversify the supply chain of raw materials in the EU. Importantly, imports of critical minerals should not be disadvantaged as the EU will continue to rely on third countries for roughly 75% of supply.
- Well calibrated state aid rules – In response to the IRA, the EU has adopted a new Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework which will allow Member States to match aid from third countries, where there is a risk of investments being diverted away from Europe. The measure will be targeted, operational for limited time (to 2025), and includes provisions to preserve the level-playing field in the single market. Additionally, a recent deal reached between the EU and US will see a transparency instrument created to avoid subsidy shopping.
R&D Solutions and partner FloPetrol conducted abandonment operations for a major operator on a remote island off the coast of Western Australia.
The field in question hosts many aged wells, some dating back over 40 years, and the strategic objective was to retire them as economically and responsibly as possible.
An eco-friendly solution
The material selected for plugging a trial well was QuartzPack®, a Bingham-plastic material which acts as both a liquid and a solid material.
It is noteworthy that external mechanical, hydraulic or tectonic forces will reshape the well barrier to fit the new well geometrics and maintain sealing properties. Whilst tectonic plate movement isn’t common in Western Australia it is not unheard of, so eliminating any possible leak paths before they can occur is an advantage.
Moreover, the use of rock particle sizes from nano to millimetres provide a complete seal, preventing gas and liquid migration to surface. The QuartzPack® material doesn’t shrink, crack or have micro-annulus issues – and, given its fundamental characteristics, it doesn’t raise any environmental concerns.
Sealing the deal
The material was checked on-site and then prepared for deployment into the candidate well. On arrival, IBCs were opened and, using an auger, the material was re-liquified for pumping.
Those on location witnessing the operation were amazed to see the material on site change from a solid crusty impermeable block to a liquid slurry. From there, cement pumps delivered the material into the wellbore to achieve the seal.
Green for go on further wells
The trial was deemed a total success: the deployment and delivery phases were flawless thanks to careful planning and preparation, and the well was abandoned as planned. It had been planned to trial the material and methods of deployment, and to review ease of operability, with further test wells, but the success of the initial exercise meant the full system was deemed good to go and needed no further proof of concept.
The trial demonstrated the ongoing commitment of R&D Solutions and FloPetrol to the provision of environmentally and technically sound solutions for permanent well abandonment. We look forward to building on this success in the year ahead.
Great News! Q-Free brought their sustainability partnership with following partners to the digital space with an internal Lunch and Learn meeting on Social Procurement:
Transurban: One of the world’s largest toll road developers and operators
Multicap Limited: A For Purpose organisation working to increase long-term employment opportunities and skills for people with disabilities and,
Apricot: a consultancy agency specialising in ESG implementation.
Social Procurement is a mechanism to leverage social value from existing spending. Together with their partners in Australia, Q-Free is working to increase long-term employment for people with disabilities. Multicap employees are trained and work on the manual review of images from Q-Free's tolling systems and they are so happy with the joint collaboration and outcome.
Here are some partner quotes in breif:
“By collaborating with suppliers we can provide meaningful work opportunities for people facing barriers to employment, as well as create shared value for the communities in which we operate”. Sebastian Conley, Sustainable Procurement Manager at Transurban
“Remember when you work with a person-centered approach, it can truly have an enormous impact”. Tony Burns, General Manager Employment at MultiCap.
And to wrap it up:
"We feel proud and honoured to be working with our partners Transurban, MultiCap, and Apricot in providing ongoing, sustainable, and meaningful work opportunities whilst focusing on ability, not disability". Silje Troseth, General Manager at Q-Free Australia,
Together we are changing the movements of life.
Discover a new level of comfort with the NEW Stressless® Rome. The enveloping shape of the back provides premium comfort. Includes features like the Stressless Plus™-system for maximum comfort and support for the user’s neck and lumbar region. The sleep function can be activated with a hand movement. Add to that BalanceAdapt™ which automatically adjusts the seat and back angle to the user’s anatomy and movements.
Available to experience in-store now