Perfect location for entrepreneurial company OiW Process at Herøya Research Park
LABORATORIET: Forskningssjef Per Bakke (f.v.), daglig leder Susan Heldal og forretningsutvikler Albert Buer i OiW Process' nye lokaler i Forskningsparken.
“Absolutely perfect,” said general manager Susan Heldal when entrepreneurial company OiW Process relocated to Herøya Research Park at the start of the year. This relocation has given them spacious, practical premises with offices, meeting rooms and a laboratory.
“We used to have offices in Building 25 and a test lab at the Research Park. That was inconvenient. Now all our operations have been gathered together on new premises, where we have built up a fully equipped lab with office premises directly alongside. Our working conditions are much better now. It is absolutely perfect,” says Susan Heldal, OiW’s general manager.
The high-ceilinged premises at the Research Park covering area of around 60 square metres and offer space for a large laboratory, offices and a mezzanine above the offices. There is a meeting room here with conference equipment, and this is used in partnership with the department in Molde.
Plenty of assistance from other Industrial Park stakeholders
OiW was established by Susan Heldal and Albert Buer in 2013. The company now employs seven staff, four in Porsgrunn and three in Molde, and the Porsgrunn office has relocated to the Research Park. “We have all the facilities we need to hear,” states business development officer Albert Buer.
“We receive assistance from the Bilfinger glassblowing workshop, which is right next door, and we use the Plastics workshop, which is also situated at the Industrial Park. Sintef Molab is based at the same building, so we are not far from all the services and people we need. We would have had to invest more time and resources than we do at the moment if we had found these services outside the industrial park. Moreover, the quality of the services we buy from other HIP companies is good, so our location here is ideal for us.”
Head of Research Per Bakke, who began working at OiW in favourite 2016, emphasises the fact that the excellent communication with the administration at the industrial park is important.
Head of Research Per Bakke, who began working at OiW in favourite 2016, emphasises the fact that the excellent communication with the administration at the industrial park is important. This is particularly applicable to the opportunities for any pilot projects.
“Rolf Olaf Larsen, Head of Pilotarena Herøya, is on the supply side of things and can help us with a major pilot when we need assistance,” says Bakke.
Is it important to be able to exchange ideas and experiences with other researchers in the environment?
“No, it would probably take a lot for us to talk to others about what we do, and for others to talk to us about their projects. Our clients demand strict confidentiality with regard to their projects, and other researchers here find the same thing,” explains Heldal.
“The facilities are the most important thing for us, and we now have access to these at our new laboratory. We have wall sockets for gas, distilled water, compressed air and everything else we need. There are many things that we take for granted here that would not have been available to us in an ordinary office building. It is also important for HSE and safety procedures for gas and other media that we use to be systematised. Regular safety inspections are held, and everything is handled professionally and effortlessly for us.”
Advancing development of own basic technology
OiW Process has developed its own technology for purification of produced water – water from oil recovery that is purified before being released. This technology forms the basis for much of the company’s work, and process engineer Øyvind Asgautsen is working on a doctorate on the company’s basic technology. He is doing his degree at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and if all goes according to plan he will finish his degree in the autumn of 2018.
OiW also takes on consultancy assignments and develop projects for clients. Its resources are shared between assignments for external clients and development of its own projects.
“We have been working on a project relating to the use of CO2 to improve the quality of fish transported in tanks on board ships. This is a research project we implemented for a client, and this technology was patented last summer,” explains Heldal. “Process Engineering manager Jan Gregor Høydahl Sørli is the project manager for a construction project that will be undergoing testing soon at Statoil’s multiphase rig here at the Research Park, so we have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline.”
The company is currently working with removal of heavy metals from contaminated water, such as leachate from landfill sites or process water contaminated with heavy metals and other substances. “This is another project in which we are using our basic technology. It is time now to use our expertise from the oil industry in other contexts,” explains Bakke.