The announcement this summer by Danish shipping giant A.P. Møller-Mærsk that it will close its historic shipyard at Lindø Wharf on Funen by 2012 was naturally received with dismay by many in Denmark, not least the thousands of people currently employed there, either directly or indirectly through sub-suppliers.
But now the mood has turned considerably brighter as the idea of transforming Lindø Wharf into a Danish powerhouse for developing renewable energy gathers pace and is attracting supporting voices from government and businesses.
Financial daily newspaper Børsen reports that on 7 October, several major Danish companies including A.P. Møller-Mærsk will meet at the wharf to discuss the creation of a centre that can maintain the country's leading edge competencies in renewable energy technologies and provide valuable knowledge-intensive jobs.
Attending the meeting will be high level executives from A.P. Møller-Mærsk, Danish industrial group Danfoss, Denmark's leading energy concern DONG Energy, wind turbine manufacturers Siemens Wind Power and Vestas, wind energy supply chain company Skykon, and representatives from the Ministry of Business and Economic Affairs and the Danish Wind Industry Association. The director of the latter, Jan Hylleberg, told Børsen why he sees major potential in the idea to develop Lindø Wharf anew:
"There are going to be offshore wind farms totalling 40 gigawatts around northern Europe up to 2020, and that holds enormous potential for Denmark. We estimate that this area alone can give Denmark exports of DKK 40-50bn (approx. USD 8-10bn) annually."
Hylleberg cautions however that Germany and the UK are two very strong competitors, making it important that Denmark rapidly gets an updated strategy in place in order to retain its pre-eminent position in the offshore sector.