Aker's Carbon Capture, Offshore Wind Spinoffs Shares Surge in Market Debut

Illustration - Credit: Aker Offshore Wind
Illustration - Credit: Aker Offshore Wind

Shares of Aker Carbon Capture and Aker Offshore Wind surged on their first day of trading in Oslo on Wednesday, delivering a boost to the Aker conglomerate's strategy of spinning off environment technology. 

Aker Solutions, controlled by Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke, announced in July that the two firms would raise 500 million Norwegian crowns ($55.9 million) each before a listing on Oslo's smallcap Merkur Market. 

Aker Carbon Capture, which helps firms cut their CO2 emissions, was trading at 5.4 crowns at 1010 GMT, more than tripling from the 1.7 crowns price of the initial public offering. 

Aker Offshore Wind, which aims to develop and operate floating offshore wind farms, meanwhile traded at 3.3 crowns, more than double of the subscription price of 1.47 crowns. 

The boom was driven by investors seeking to own companies with a strong profile in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Magnus Olsvik said. 

"There is limited availability of such stocks in Norway, and the price reflects this lack of supply," the analyst said.

Aker Carbon Capture has two projects building carbon capture plants, including one at Heidelberg's cement factory in Brevik, where it will use a patented technology developed by Aker Solutions. 

Carbon capture is seen as an essential technology to reduce emissions from industry, such as cement production, which accounts for about 7% of global CO2 emissions, more than aviation. 

Aker Offshore Wind's aim of developing floating wind farms could meanwhile facilitate the harvesting of wind energy in waters too deep for seabed-fixed turbines, the company told investors on Tuesday.

It said it was looking at projects off California, South Korea, Scotland, and Norway, which could provide it a net power capacity of 1.5-gigawatt (GW). 

In California and South Korea, it plans to develop offshore wind farms in partnership with Ocean Winds, a joint venture between Spanish EDP Renewables and French Engie. Roekke's investment firm Aker ASA, which controls Aker Solutions, holds 51% stake in each of the spinoffs.

 ($1 = 8.9485 Norwegian crowns) 

(Editing by Terje Solsvik and David Evans)

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