State Visit concluded in Perth
Their Majesties The King and Queen spent the final day of their State Visit in Perth on the west coast of Australia. The main focus of today’s programme was on maritime cooperation and petroleum activities.
Perth is the capital of the state of Western Australia, and the country’s fourth-largest city. The city has experienced strong economic growth in recent years, primarily driven by mining and oil and gas activities. More than 40 Norwegian companies have established a presence in Perth, mostly in the petroleum sector.
Today, King Harald and Queen Sonja together with Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien visited the Wilh. Wilhelmsen Group’s ship MV Tugela. On board the vessel the guests were given an introduction to Norwegian maritime activities in Australia and Norwegian-Australian cooperation in the maritime sector and offshore industry.
King Harald and Queen Sonja were also present at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on research cooperation between the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and the University of Western Australia.
Following the visit, the King and Queen attended an official luncheon at Government House Western Australia hosted by the Governor, Her Excellency The Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO.
Australia is the world’s third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Most of the current expansion is taking place off the west coast, where conditions for exploration and development closely resemble those found off the coast of Norway. King Harald gave the closing remarks at the seminar, pointing out that Norway has experience and technology that is of relevance to the ongoing development of the Australian petroleum industry:
“To extract natural resources in Norway, the industry has had to deal with operations in remote areas, a lack of infrastructure and production in rough weather conditions. Australia faces many of the same challenges. In the future the industry will face challenges related to rising costs, an increasing demand for energy and climate change.”
“With more than forty years of experience on the Norwegian continental shelf, the Norwegian service and supply industry has become well known worldwide for state-of-the-art technology and the ability to deal with complex challenges. This has made the industry competitive internationally.”
The Norwegian company Statoil is among those granted a licence for exploration off the Australian coast, while Farstad Shipping operates an offshore simulation centre outside Perth.
This evening local time, King Harald and Queen Sonja were the guests at a reception hosted by the Premier of Western Australia, The Honourable Colin Barnett MEc MLA. The reception marked the conclusion of the King and Queen’s State Visit to Australia.