Twenty specialist companies serving the offshore fossil industries are being bundled together as a single new business to chase opportunities in the renewables market in “a new era where oil & gas will be less important”, said their Norwegian private equity owner.

Moreld will amalgamate oil & gas contracting and technology firms in the portfolio of HitecVision into a new entity that turned over almost $1bn a year in 2019 and employs 3,600, said the investment group, as it announced it was scrapping earlier plans to try to sell them.

The focus of Moreld will be to accelerate developments in the “rapidly -growing renewables market” in preparation for “a new era where oil & gas will be less important” while retaining their positions in the fossil sectors.

HitecVision claimed many of the portfolio businesses are already well under way in “developing new offerings in renewable energy and other industries”.

It cited the example of Vryhof, which makes specialist moorings for the emerging floating wind sector and has a role in the pioneering WindFloat Atlantic project off Portugal.

Vryhof’s commercial director Clement Mochet previously told Recharge the oil & gas sector has a rich seam of technology and expertise to offer floating wind.

“This knowledge base runs the length of the value chain, from hydrodynamics and mooring analyses, through risk-based structural assessment design, to third-party approval management,” Mochet said.

HitecVision admitted the formation of the conglomerate came after a planned sale of the portfolio was called off as “the uncertainty around oil & gas has meant that the interest in offering relevant values, even for well-run and profitable suppliers, has been weaker than expected”.

The various operations will continue under their current separate identities but with a single top management, while “the size and financial robustness of the new group will put them in better position to establish new business areas, jointly or individually”, claimed HitecVision, which will base Moreld in Stavanger.

The renewables boss of Norwegian oil & gas giant Equinor told Recharge last week how “unbelievable synergies,” with the oil & gas supply chain was already benefiting the Dogger Bank offshore wind project, the world's largest currently underway off the UK.