ESBJERG, THE ENERGY METROPOLIS OF DENMARK
With 116,000 inhabitants, Esbjerg Municipality is located in the south-western part of Denmark. The city of Esbjerg is quite young and was not developed until after the establishment of the port in 1868. Since then, the city has experienced steady growth and today, Esbjerg is recognized as the Energy Metropolis of Denmark.
A strong business profile
As the Danish gateway to the West, The Port of Esbjerg has been a base for the fishing industry and Danish export goods since 1868. With the introduction of the oil and gas industry in the 1970s, the companies in Esbjerg seized the opportunity to expand and a new offshore cluster was born.
Oil and Gas:
In the early 1970s, oil was discovered in quantities that were worth exploiting for production. Oil extraction began with Dantfeltet in 1972, headed by Dansk Undergrunds Consortium (DUC) and comprised of A.P. Møller, Gulf and Shell. In 1979, approximately 200 people were employed in the oil industry in Esbjerg.
The early 1980s saw the start of production from the Gorm, Skjold and Tyra fields, and Esbjerg developed into a real offshore town. Combined with the fishing crisis at that time, this resulted in Esbjerg’s fishery-related industries turning to the offshore industry to earn money. Employment in Esbjerg switched from fisheries to offshore, which currently accounts for 9,000 jobs. In 1991, Denmark became oil independent, and energy independent in 1997.
The competences from the offshore industry made the evolution and development of the offshore wind industry possible with the installation of the world’s first offshore wind farm, Horns Reef 1, 10km off the coast of Esbjerg. The wind farm was made possible with the help of local offshore companies in Esbjerg, who saw a potential market. The offshore wind industry has grown globally and many more have joined the cluster. The local knowledge within the offshore wind industry is among some of the best in the world. Due to more than 4GW of offshore wind turbines having passed through the Port of Esbjerg, Esbjerg is a world leader in offshore wind.
Another industrial focus area is the biotech sector. Nature Energy is a Danish biogas pioneer. The company wants to contribute to Denmark’s transition to green energy and they consider biogas to be the third pillar in this project, combined with solar and wind power. With ten plants, they are Denmark’s leading producer of biogas, each year converting over 1 million tons of waste into biogas- enough to supply heat for more than 30,000 households with sustainable energy.
In 2018, the company opened Nature Energy Korskro, which each year will receive and treat around 710,000 tons of waste. Around 85% of the biomass received is manure and the rest is deep litter and organic waste from industry. When the first phase of the plant is done, it will produce around 22 mio.cubic meters of green biomass to the national natural gas grid. Fully expanded, the production facility will be able to convert 1 mio. tons waste and residues from the agriculture sector each year.
This makes the production facility the world’s largest according to Energy Business Review (EBR) when it comes to large scale production facility measured on processing capacity and production.
Closely connected to the US and European internet gateways, Esbjerg is the internet hub of Northern Europe. New fiber-optic cables from Esbjerg to the US, Ireland, England and the Netherlands along with an already excellent international data infrastructure makes Esbjerg an optimal place for companies in need of low latency to Europe and the US.
The Port of Esbjerg
The port expects its capacity to be fully utilized within the next few years and has initiated a process to clarify the expansion possibilities to enable the port and its customers to continue to generate growth and jobs.
Esbjerg’s position within oil and gas and more than ten years of know-how in setting up offshore wind farms is part of what makes Esbjerg Denmark’s Energy Metropolis.
In Esbjerg, the offshore industry has a high demand for engineers, marine engineers and skilled and unskilled labour. Today, the offshore industry is one of the most significant industries in Denmark, with a turnover of around DKK 110 billion.
In Esbjerg, you can always find an updated picture of job opportunities in the offshore industry: https.//www.businessesbjerg.com/en/work/offshore/
Initiatives to support industrial cluster development
10 years ago, the city was involved in the process of establishing a Danish knowledge and competence centre within the oil and gas industry. Today, Energy Innovation Cluster is the Danish cluster organization for oil, gas and renewable companies, and the organization has placed its headquarters in Esbjerg. They focus on innovation projects involving onshore and offshore wind energy, oil and gas, the integration of wind in the power system and new technologies for the industry for energy production. They have a total project portfolio worth more than €50million.
The cluster organization and Esbjerg Municipality, work closely together with Wind Denmark, a Danish organization representing 3,100 members in the wind turbine sector, including wind turbine owners.
The member base of Wind Denmark covers the entire value chain, both onshore and offshore, and includes wind turbines manufacturers, utilities and developers, turbine owners, wind proponents as well as the broad group of companies supplying components and services to the wind sector.
Wind Denmark manages the interests of the members and creates the framework for the various fora, in which members can utilize the potential in knowledge sharing and exchange experiences with players within and outside the industry.
In Esbjerg, we have also recently formed a business network called Offshore Network Esbjerg (ONE), which includes 20 different suppliers to the offshore industry. The members of ONE operate in the maritime industry, the oil and gas industry, and the wind industry.
Ranging from high pressure equipment, large steel construction manufacturers, safety training capacity and to offshore legal advisory, ONE has suppliers that are highly experienced in the oil and gas, maritime and offshore wind industries.
You will be able to select from a wide range of competences to support your operation and business.
Offshore Network Esbjerg (ONE) wants to digitalize the supplier’s services and competences and make the knowledge of your suppliers easier and with a deep insight.