Ambassador White simulates oil drilling and judges a cupcake contest on a trip to southern Norway
June 28-29, 2012
In late June, Ambassador Barry B. White traveled to Vest-Agder county on the southern coast of Norway on a commercial and cultural outreach visit. The visit to the region included the communities of Kristiansand, Mandal, Lindesnes, Farsund, Vanse, and Loshavn.
The first part of the visit covered various commercial aspects:
- A visit to the U.S. oil services company National Oilwell Varco, which has more than 3500 employees in Norway. Ambassador White was introduced by Country Manager Frode Jensen to an advanced drilling simulator together with Mayor of Kristiansand Arvid Grundekjøn.
- Later he visited the shipyard Umoe Mandal which produces the Norwegian Navy’s Skjold Class Corvette. Together with Managing Director Arvid Nybø and Navy Commander Norwegian Corvette Service Bjørn Kvisgaard, he toured one of the newly built vessels and traveled all the way to Farsund, reaching speeds of 57 knots.
- In Farsund, the Ambassador was met by Mayor Richard Buch, who hosted the Ambassador for the remainder of the visit and welcomed him to a networking dinner with local politicians and business leaders in the beautiful and historic Husan municipal building.
- The stay in Farsund and Lista included visits to the U.S. aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Lista where the Ambassador got to hear more about its carbothermic reduction project. Alcoa’s Country Manager Kai Rune Heggland also hosted a visit to the historic pilot harbor of Loshavn.
- Furthermore, the Ambassador visited Farsund Aluminum Casting company where owner and CEO Roger Cockcroft showcased some of the unique aluminum parts the plant produces for many of the world’s leading auto manufacturers.
- In Lindesnes, Ambassador White and Mayor of Lindesnes Janne Fardal Kristoffersen visited the GE Healthcare Lindesnes factory where Director Jorunn Gislefoss presented how the company has developed into one of the most advanced and cost efficient producers of contrast media primary substance for use in medical diagnostics worldwide.
The cultural aspects of the trip started in Vanse, where Ambassador White had been invited to open the annual American Festival with the slogan “The best thing to happen to Lista since Brooklyn”. The festival enthusiastically celebrates the deep roots and rich cultural transfer that the interchange with America means for the region. Vanse and Farsund, and the greater area of Lista sent a large number of emigrants to the United States in the 1800s. Many of them ended up returning to Norway and many of the small communities celebrate this American heritage with frequent travel and contact between the region and the United States, particularly New York and Brooklyn. The Festival included a range of concerts, AmCar parades, street parades, Miss Lister Region contest, baking contests, and many other creative and fun activities and events.
The Embassy would like to especially thank local contacts Mr. Ole Ihme and Mr. Stephen Collett for their role in facilitating a successful visit to the southern part of Norway.