Sea as common ground

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Chief Minister Naidu of Andhra Pradesh and ambassador Kamsvåg.

Both Andhra Pradesh and Norway are blessed with long coastlines, offering opportunities for economic development driven by ocean industries. Possibilities for cooperation within maritime, marine and off shore oil and gas sectors were therefore at the center of discussions during ambassador Kamsvåg’s recent visit to the state.

Six Norwegian companies accompanied the ambassador to a meeting with the Hindustan Shipyard Pvt Ltd. As one of the oldest and largest shipyards on the east coast, Hindustan Shipyard is an important player in India’s maritime sector. The Norwegian companies Aatash Norcontrol, Goltens India, Jotun India, Kongsberg Maritime, Marinor and NORINCO presented their solutions for shipbuilding to the chairman and his team, laying the foundation for further cooperation.

The port in Visakhapatnam is the leading Indian port regarding value of seafood exports, while Norway is the second largest seafood exporter in the world. The scope for collaboration within aquaculture is huge. During his visit, ambassador Kamsvåg met with the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), seafood exporters and visited the shrimp-processing unit Sprint Exports Pvt Ltd. In February this year, SINTEF Fisheries & Aquaculture visited key players within Aquaculture in Visakhapatnam. The aim of the visit was to see how Norwegian technology could assist with transportation of live shrimp & cold storage.

Oil and gas is another resource found at sea. The Ambassador used the opportunity while in Visakhapatnam to visit the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy. A new institute aiming to be leading in the region on educating the people that will form India’s energy future. Around 100 students attended a lecture by the Ambassador on how Norway has developed our off shore oil resources and how we are managing the assets in a way that benefit all Norwegians alike. Norway is aiming to get involved in the development of Andhra Pradesh’ oil and gas sector.  Around 20 Norwegian companies are now competing in the tendering process for ONGC offshore deep water field 98/2 off Kakinada coast worth US$5.1 bn.

The Ambassador also paid a visit to Vijayawada to learn more about the plans for building a new and smart capital, Amravati, and also to meet the political leadership of the state.

In a meeting with Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (AP-CRDA) Commissioner, Mr. Cherukuri Sreedhar, the embassy got insights into the great plans for the development of the new capital region. The commissioner invited Norwegian investors to take part of the development.

Andhra Pradesh is not only focused on Smart Cities, they have also developed a Smart Village Smart Ward concept to ensure development of their many villages. A visit to the Smart Andhra Pradesh Foundation (SMPF), provided insights into this innovative concept, that already has led to improvements in many villages across the state.

In meetings with Chief Minister Naidu, areas of mutual interest for cooperation between Norway and Andhra Pradesh was discussed, focusing on Ocean Industries, as maritime, marine and oil and gas.

“Sea-based activities are largely untapped in Andhra Pradesh,” Chief Minister Naidu pointed out in the discussion, and continued, “the potential of sea-based economy is not adequately appreciated, and we hope that we with Norway’s cooperation can bring Andhra Pradesh a sea of change in this area.”  The Chief Minister also outlined his ambitious vision for developing the new state and its new capital, combining the state’s natural resources and location with new technology and innovation.

The Norwegian delegation visiting Hindustan Shipyard Pvt. Ltd.