Final day of State Visit
The King and Queen arrived in Düsseldorf Wednesday morning, and were greeted by the President of Nordrhein-Westfalen, His Excellency Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers and Mrs Rüttgers, followed by a formal luncheon and talks.
At 3 pm, His Majesty gave the opening address at a seminar on energy and climate issues, Sustainability of future energy supply, at the Rheinterrassen conference centre. The conference represented a joint effort between the embassy, Innovation Norway and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The Ministry of Education and Research conducted a parallel seminar on climate and polar research, in cooperation with the Research Council of Norway.
A new gas power plant
Later in the afternoon, King Harald opened the new Statkraft gas power plant in Knapsack, Köln. The power plant will have a capacity of 800 MW and a yearly production of between 4 and 5 TWh. The new plant has been constructed using the best available environmental, security and energy efficiency technology, and CO2 emissions will be only half the size of emissions from coal works.
Red Dot Design Museum
While The King opened the energy seminar, Her Majesty Queen Sonja and Mrs Rüttgers visited the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen. Here they received a guided tour of the exhibition More than salmon and sausages.
Germany was one of the first countries to recognize Norway after the dissolution of the union with Sweden in 1905. In 2005 Norway and Germany celebrated 100 years of diplomatic relations, and the exhibition was a part of the commemorative activity. It is one of the largest cultural cooperative efforts undertaken by Germany and Norway, and seeks to illustrate the diversity of German-Norwegian relations over the last hundred years.
Norwegian-German Youth Forum
Later Wednesday afternoon, The Queen visited Norwegian-German Youth Forum. The Forum brings together about 50 Norwegian and 50 German youths aged 16-20 to discuss common issues. The issues this year were climate change, energy and the environment.
The objective of the forum is to create a network for young people, and promote reciprocal interest in the other countrys language and culture. The forum is intended to be an annual event, and will be held in both Norway and Germany.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.