A sad day for Norway

Sad and incomprehensible, is the reaction by everyone to the tragic events in Norway earlier today, and the staff at Scandinavia Now shares its profound sympathy with the victims and their bereaved families. Scandinavia Now does not normally cover topics outside the business community, but we felt obliged and a need to express our support for the innocent people of Norway who have fallen targets for this pointless expression of meaningless violence.

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[NOR] Telenor Svalbard celebrates 100 years in the Arctic

elenor opened its first telegraph station in Svalbard in 1911, and now – after 100 years – Svalbard is probably among the world’s most digitalised communities in the world. On Sunday 29 May, the celebration was kicked off by Telenor’s chairman Harald Norvik and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas, opening the world’s northernmost 4G/LTE network in Longyearbyen.

The LTE test launch adds to a number of ”northernmosts” – most northerly domestic fiber services, northernmost 2G, 3G, satellite station, and other ground-breaking records.

Telenor Svalbard’s global role
Looking back, apart from a few years during Word War 2 where Svalbard Radio was put out of service, Telenor Svalbard has been in full operation for 100 years. Over the centennial, Telenor Svalbard has opened up the Arctic to a number of global users – the shipping industry since the sinking of Titanic, Amundsen and Nobiles’ dramatic flight ventures, the airlines’ first Euro-American routes over the Arctic. Today, one vital role is the transmission of all environmental, weather and climatic data from satellites crossing the Arctic ice sheet. 14 satellites report to the world’s hubs via Telenor’s global network. Through northern coastal radio stations, it also serves Norway’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) responsibility for safety at sea, covering an area from Scotland to the North Pole.

Telecommunications in no man’s landAround 1900, when industrialization and mining industry was starting to take off in the Arctic, Svalbard was increasingly becoming attractive to various nations and great powers.

On May 3, 1911, the Norwegian parliament agreed that a radio telegraph station was to be built on Svalbard. The station was named Spitsbergen Radio and originally built in Green Harbour linking Svalbard to the Norwegian mainland. The Norwegian authorities regarded this substantial investment as an opportunity to strengthen their presence and thus acquiring a stronger foothold on Svalbard.

The establishment of what later became Telenor Svalbard, was pivotal in securing Norway sovereignty over Svalbard when The Svalbard Treaty was signed in 1920.

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[FIN] Kesko supports young athletes and art students with scholarships

Kesko’s Board of Directors has granted scholarships to talented young athletes and art students for the 24th time. The Kesko scholarships, presented on 16 May in Helsinki, were distributed to 25 promising young athletes and 17 art students from different parts of Finland.

The total scholarship amount was 42,000 euros and the recipients were chosen on the recommendations of fine arts universities and sports associations. The scholarship recipients include, for example, ski jumper Julia Kykkänen, who participated in women’s ski jumping competition in the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo this year. Swimmer Jenna Laukkanen has won both gold and bronze medals in the European Junior Swimming Championships. Jani Sandelin has won a gold medal in the Finnish National Cycling Championships. Show jumper Miisa Pulkkanen is the 2010 Finnish Champion of the Small Pony Championships and the Hall Championships.


The Your Move Grand Event is near

Kesko is the main partner of the Young Finland Association and the Finnish Sports Federation in organising the Your Move Grand Event running in Helsinki from 27 May to 1 June 2011. Your Move is the biggest physical activity event in Finland in 2011. It is expected to put 50,000 people aged from 13 to19 on the move, try out different activities and enjoy music and have fun together. The event venue is the area surrounding the Helsinki Olympic Stadium.

Kesko and the K-Group’s store chains will play a prominent part in the Your Move event. In line with the event theme, young people have created Kesko’s Turbo Move World area featuring a large inflatable running and climbing track and a number of other activity points. In addition, K-chains will have their own activity sections at the event.

Kesko’s cooperation with the Young Finland Association has already lasted for more than a decade. The cooperation significantly contributes to Kesko’s responsibility policies, whose key objective is to promote the wellbeing and joy of life in families with children.

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[DEN] Alfa Laval completes acquisition of Aalborg Industries

Alfa Laval has completed the acquisition of Aalborg Industries Holding A/S, after having received clearance from the competition authorities. The acquisition, which adds complementary energy-efficient and environmental solutions, represents a significant business opportunity as it supports Alfa Laval’s existing offer to the marine and off-shore markets.  Another opportunity lies in the introduction of Aalborg’s products to customers in completely new end markets, through Alfa Laval’s sales network.

The cash consideration totals SEK 5.0 billion, on an enterprise value basis. Aalborg Industries has some 2,600 employees and generated sales of about SEK 3.1 billion in 2010. The acquisition, consolidated as of May 1, is expected to be accretive to EPS from 2011.

“Aalborg Industries is an excellent fit and I’m very pleased to welcome a strong and well-run company into Alfa Laval”, says Lars Renström, President and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group.

The acquisition further strengthens Alfa Laval’s product offering in heat transfer. It adds market-leading positions with products such as boilers and thermal fluid systems, as well as inert gas systems, with significant barriers to entry. These include extensive certification processes, a strong innovation track record and a global service network. The company’s strong manufacturing and engineering presence in fast-growing markets such as China, Vietnam and Brazil, as well as the aftermarket potential generated by a large installed base, are also highly attractive attributes.

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[SWE] Saab signs additional agreement for air ambulance

The first additional agreement has now been signed as part of the 8-year agreement that came into force earlier this year with Scandinavian Air Ambulance Holding AB (SAAH). The order is worth SEK 25 m and relates to the expansion of technical and maintenance services.

The agreement is an extension to the technical and maintenance services that Saab is already providing for the air ambulance company SAAH in several locations across the country. The expansion means that Saab will now also be supporting the helicopter ambulance operations in Gällivare and in Finland.

”Our strong and long-standing and cooperation is now being further reinforced,” says Torsten Öhman, head of the Customer Alliance Solutions division and responsible for the operations within the Support and Services business area at Saab.

Scandinavian Air Ambulance conducts its missions today with a fleet of 8 aircraft and 7 helicopters. The company includes a number of Swedish counties and municipalities among its customers, with the majority of contracts based on long-term agreements. Ambulance helicopters may also be used for Search and Rescue (SAR) missions, for example in air, sea and mountain rescues

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[SWE] Billerud starts pilot study for production of green oil from forest residues

Billerud is to evaluate the technical and market prerequisites for lignocellulose-based pyrolysis products. The project goal is to manufacture green oil from forest residues such as branches, tops and stumps. The green oil can then be turned into renewable energy in customers’ facilities.

The project is based on producing green oil from wood raw material in a full-scale facility at the Skärblacka paper mill. This is about a new type of commercial energy carrier. The project intends to establish the technical and market prerequisites for lignocellulose-based pyrolysis products, biofuel, as a replacement for fossil-based oil.

Billerud has applied for funds from the EU within the framework of the NER300 programme. The European Commission has decided to fund up to 42 commercial and innovative production facilities in order to increase the proportion of renewable energy sources and achieve a reduction in CO2. A decision is expected in the second half of 2012.

Billerud is holding discussions with partners who are interested in future supplies of green oil from wood raw material.

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[DEN] FLSmidth wins cement modernisation project in Russia

FLSmidth has been awarded a contract worth approximately EUR 55m by the Russian company Novoroscement, to supply equipment and supervision for modernisation of its Proletariy cement plant. The plant is located at Novorossijsk in southern Russia, near the Black Sea.

The order entails an upgrade of the existing production line from a present capacity of 1,740 tonnes per day to a future capacity of 6,000 tonnes per day. The modernisation of the production line will lead to a more environmentally friendly and energy efficient production process.

The equipment to be supplied comprises an Atox 57.5 raw mill, a 5-stage preheater, modification of the existing kiln shell, new filters, FLSmidth’s latest design Cross-bar cooler, a clinker storage and a complete new control system.

”We are happy to develop the cooperation with Novoroscement on the Proletariy cement plant, which FLSmidth erected already in 1914. We see a great market in Russia for modernisation of existing cement plants and the order from Novoroscement offers prospects of other major expansion projects in the region, especially when looking towards the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia” FLSmidth CEO Jørgen Huno Rasmussen says.

The order will contribute beneficially to FLSmidth’s earnings until mid 2013.

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[SWE] Lindab aquires Belgian ventilation distributor Airflux

Lindab has entered an agreement to acquire the Belgian ventilation distributor, Airflux, with three sales premises in Belgium, comprising one distribution centre and two unmanned branches. The company has sales of just over SEK 20 m.

Airflux has already been selling Lindab products and is aimed at both the residential and non-residential segments. Airflux’s direct contact with customers and installers, as well as their technical expertise, will benefit the sales of Lindab products. The concept of unmanned branches has been introduced to increase accessibility and flexibility for the customer, and this has been very well received in Belgium. Lindab plans to develop and extend this distribution concept further.

President and CEO David Brodetsky comments: ”Being close to the customer is central to our business model, which is why we put great emphasis on expanding distribution. The concept of unmanned branches that are open 24/7 has proven successful in Belgium where customers now can plan their visits to avoid traffic jams in rush hour. It is a cost effective way of expanding our presence and we will therefore be introducing it into other selected markets as well.”


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[SWE] Tieto wins international Green Enterprise IT Award

Tieto’s new energy efficient data centre has won the internationally renowned Green Enterprise IT (GEIT) Award. The recognition from the US Uptime Institute came in the Beyond the Data Centre category. The institute seeks and supports activities that improve energy efficiency in the IT industry, fosters information sharing and introduction of energy efficient practises and innovations on a global scale.

Commissioned at the beginning of the year, the award was presented to the Espoo data centre solution in Finland where the planning focused on energy efficiency. The volume of the heat put back into the district heat network is greater than in any other similar solution. The PUE value of the system’s energy efficiency is 1.2-1.3 when the value normally ranges between 1.8 and 3.

The centre produces 30 gigawatt hours of heat, which is the equivalent of the annual heat requirement for about 1 500 houses. The heat from the computer room centre is distributed to homes in Espoo through Fortum’s district heating network. Heat produced in the data centre is used to replace fossil-fuel based heat production, which means a reduction in CO2 emissions by approximately 10,000 tons per year.

”The new data centre in Espoo is a great example of our next generation super efficient data centres and shows that we take sustainable development seriously. We are very glad and proud of the recognition. The award proves that we are on the right track,” says Carl-Harald Andersson, Senior Vice President, responsible for Corporate Responsibility in Tieto.

The awarded data centre is the first module in an entity being built in Espoo, planned to comprise a total of 6,000 square metres of data centre space. Tieto also has data centres elsewhere in the Helsinki metropolitan area as well as in Stockholm, St Petersburg and Moscow.

Uptime Institute is an independent research, training and consultation organization promoting data centre performance and energy efficiency. The Institute serves data centre industry players, such as operators, component manufacturers, service providers and engineers. The aim of the annual Uptime Institute Symposium is to distribute best practices in the data centre and IT industry and to highlight successful solutions that reduce energy consumption.

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[SWE] ASSA ABLOY has acquired Portafeu, French leader in customized fire doors.

Portafeu offers fire-rated flame-retardant, firebreak and blast-resistant doors for commercial and residential customers as well as for special closures.

”I am very satisfied to welcome Portafeu as a new member of the ASSA ABLOY Group. This move strengthens our footprint in mature markets and constitutes an important part of our strategy to add complementary products and segments to our offerings,” says Johan Molin, President and CEO of ASSA ABLOY.

”Portafeu’s focus on customised solutions for door openings with a significant maintenance and services activity, along with its large customer base, makes it an excellent addition to one of our largest markets in Europe,” says Tzachi Wiesenfeld, Executive Vice President of ASSA ABLOY, and Head of the EMEA division. ”We believe that ASSA ABLOY is an ideal partner to develop Portafeu’s potential further”.

Created in 1936, Headquartered in Romilly sur Andelle, Portafeu has 245 employees and sales of € 30 M in the financial year 2010.

The acquisition will be slightly accretive to EPS from start.

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