Total investments in Norway remains at a solid level compared with previous years, and the Covid pandemic appears to have a smaller impact than expected. This means great opportunities for companies in industries such as oil and gas, construction and renewable energy.
Expected investments in 2022
In Norway, the companies’ latest investment estimates for 2022 show an expected investment within oil and gas, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying and electricity supply of NOK 189 604 billion.
Taken into consideration the Covid-19 pandemic the reduction in investments is less than 5% compared to the situation prior to the pandemic.
In addition, we expect new investments and growth within infrastructure. For the period 2018-2029 the Norwegian government has proposed to develop the national infrastructure by spending NOK 1 064 billion on roads, railways, shipping, aviation and public transport.
The government explains that an investment of this magnitude is needed to stop the increasing deterioration on roads, railways and ports/fairways. It is also required to develop infrastructure with a more long-term perspective to meet the needs of shorter travel time, higher safety, strengthened environmental protection, and to promote wealth creation.
At present, Norway does not have a sufficient amount of qualified labor to cover the need for knowledge. Maybe in the future, but today the industry depends on knowledge from the rest of Europe to fulfill the progress in the already existing investment plans.
The present situation represents a great opportunity for European companies to win contracts and succeed with business in Norway.
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It is planned to spend 536 billion NOK on maintenance and new construction of roads. Several large projects have already been started to develop and reconstruct the main roads across the country. A total of 1 200 kilometres of new roads is planned, and 290 kilometres are going to be 4 lane roads. 100 billion NOK will, according to the plan, be spent on maintenance of the existing road network.
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319 billion NOK is set aside for railroad. This is approximately 30 % of the total planned budget. The massive investment plans are supposed to transform the infrastructure to become more environmentally friendly by transporting more people and goods over longer distances safe and fast. Upgrades of already existing network and increase in the frequency of departure is supposed to make railroad the preferred way of travel in densely populated and urban areas. Long distance railroads operated by fossil fuel is reconstructed to operate using renewable energy sources.
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Norway has a long coastline and long traditions within shipping. It is therefore essential to maintain safe and efficient shipping. According to the plan, 31,7 billion NOK is set aside for further development and modernisation of the navigation infrastructure at sea and developing new quays and moles to make the goods transport more effective.
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3.9 billion NOK has been allocated to aviation. Among the largest projects is a new airport in Mo i Rana and moving the airport in Bodø to give room for the urban development of central city area.
Planning for the future
The remaining 173,4 billion NOK is set aside for public transport, developing urban environments, running technology pilots and updating and adapting the legislation. The government believes that digitalisation and new technologies will radically change the way we travel and the effects travelling has on the environment and climate.
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Because of the estimated increase in investment within oil and gas, manufacturing, mining and quarrying and electricity supply the opportunities in Norway has increased. If we take into consideration that the public investments suppliers within EEA are offered equal terms when participating in a tender related to government investments, the opportunities for European companies has increased within public procurement as well and will continue to grow for the years to com. The Norwegian procurement legislation is mainly based on EU directives that Norway is bound to implement through the EEA-Agreement.
The estimated increase in investments within oil, gas and energy, along with the ongoing and planned public investments will trigger growth and development that can bring great opportunities for businesses within:
- Oil and gas
- Renewable energy
- Marine technology
In addition to the contracts awarded through public procurement, a lot of subcontractors and a sizable workforce will typically be needed for large projects like these. Medium and small companies, which do not meet the requirements to attend a large tender, may find opportunities in quoting for subcontracts.
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Article first published 11 June 2018, updated and republished October 2021.