WilNor Governmental Services AS (WGS), through its subsidiary company WGS Properties AS, has acquired 66% of the shares in the Olavsvern Group AS.
Located outside of Tromsø in northern Norway, Olavsvern is a decommissioned Royal Norwegian Navy base. It was closed down in 2009 by the country’s government and later sold to private investor Olavsvern Group.
With WGS as the new majority owner, Olavsvern will now be available for military purposes.
WGS, a Wilhelmsen group company is a logistics partner for the Norwegian armed forces and allied NATO forces. Back in 2015, the company entered into a long-term agreement with the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation regarding strategic logistics support to the Norwegian Armed Forces. This agreement covers transportation, storage, supply bases, accommodation, supplies, fuel and the establishment of temporary barracks. It also includes several supply bases along the Norwegian coast.
This acquisition enables WGS to provide an even broader range of services to military partners, the company said.
“Olavsvern is a fantastic asset for WGS in the Arctic region, located not far from the city of Tromsø. It complements our chain of supply bases along the Norwegian coast in daily use in support of military readiness and operations,” Vidar Hole, CEO of WGS, commented.
“Our intention is to gradually refurbish the infrastructure and provide an attractive facility at Olavsvern for military purposes. However, in the foreseeable future, civilian activity at Olavsvern will co-exist with military use.”
Olavsvern played an important role as a logistics facility, a command centre and a forward operating base for military forces operating in Arctic waters during the Cold War. The base consists of a 25,000 square meters mountain complex, including a mountain basin and dry dock for conventional submarines plus quays and 13,000 square meters of barracks, offices, and workshops.
WGS is part of the Wilhelmsen group, which has been supporting allied operations dating back to World War II.
“Wilhelmsen considers the ability to support and strengthen the military capacity of armed forces as a natural part of Norway’s ‘total defence concept’ and the group’s social responsibility,” Hole added.
“Although Olavsvern has hosted mainly civilian activity since 2013 and will continue to do so for the time being, our ambition is to offer the facility to military customers,” according to Hole.
“We have already secured our first contract with the Netherlands Marine Corps, which will utilize Olavsvern as a facility for their winter training, starting early January this year and lasting for nearly three months. This contract has been formalized through the Norwegian Armed Forces.”