What is driving the commercial development of Svaaheia? We have been entrusted with a mandate by our municipal owners to manage and further develop Svaaheia Business Park, with expectations to deliver an annual dividend of 10 million NOK by 2030. In our effort to realize these aspirations, we have a strategic focus on identification and utilization of competitive advantages and to invest our resources in aligned research, innovation, and business development. Our long-term goal is to establish sustainable and profitable businesses at Svaaheia, with value chains in the Dalane-region that extends throughout Europe. 

How do we work towards the commercial development of Svaaheia? We have been working on the development of strategies and plans for Svaaheia for quite some time and have recently completed several activities that will enable us to bring these visions to fruition. Over the past year we have established a competent and dynamic advisory team, strengthening our capabilities with expertise in the fields of physics, process technologies, polymer engineering, sustainability evaluations, and project commercialization and business development. This new advisory team is actively engaged in ongoing projects, such as CARBIOW, as well as the development of new project proposals that qualifies for Norwegian and European funding programs. 

In addition to our focus on development of internal resources, we are also looking outwards; we actively seek out professional networks, partnerships and consortia that can contribute to the commercial development of Svaaheia. In 2023 we became a member of the DUT Partnership through our participation in the COPPER project, we established a collaboration with the University of Agder, and recently we signed a letter of intent to conduct feasibility studies on behalf of Norge Mineraler.

Memorandum of Understanding with Norge Mineraler. In December of 2023 we signed a letter of intent with Norge Mineraler, which entailed an agreement to conduct a feasibility study, to determine whether Svaaheia is a suitable location to ship out minerals. Following the signing of this agreement, we have had conversations with Norge Mineraler regarding the scope of the feasibility study. Although the minute details of the scope are still being decided, we know that it will involve technical, environmental, and socio-economic analyses focused on these key aspects:

  1. Infrastructure and the transport of minerals from the mining site at Helleland to Svaaheia.
  2. Mineral management and downstream processing at Svaaheia.
  3. Management and treatment of waste from downstream processes at Svaaheia.
  4. Harbour and shipping solutions to export mineral products from Svaaheia.

The development of Svaaheia Business Park. We are actively working on the development of Svaaheia Business Park, and in this process we ensure that business opportunities alone do not steer the way forward. The mandate that is given to us by our municipal owners must be carried out with a continuous and responsible evaluation of environmental impact and sustainability criteria. We hold ourselves accountable to rigorous standards in terms of technological solutions, environmental impacts, democratic processes, and socio-economic ripple effects. Prior to implementation, all proposed developments within the business park must undergo thorough regulatory processes, ensuring extensive public involvement as we move forward.

The development of Svaaheia Business Park will be a long running endeavour. In order to prepare our business areas, we have to remove large amounts of bedrock which is estimated to take between 5 and 45 years. The time frame is dependent on method of transportation, infrastructure bottlenecks, and of course social and environmental considerations. While time consuming, this also provides us with a unique opportunity. By selling off removed bedrock we are able to internally fund the development without being dependent on external investments, and the developmental time frame allows us to fully evaluate alternative pathways and the opportunity to create unique value through our bottom-up approach to innovation and business development.