Esbjerg, Denmark has made a formal application to join the World Energies Cities Partnership (WECP), the elite network of cities around the globe that promotes knowledge exchange in the energy sector and mutual development in a wide range of strategic areas that include energy-related technology, education and environmental technology. WECP membership can only be secured through recommendation by an existing member city. Esbjerg will be proposed as Denmark’s representative within the energy partnership through an official nomination by Stavanger, the home city for much of Norway’s energy industry. Its application will be considered during the group’s next formal meeting.
The initiative, driven by Esbjerg Mayor Johnny Søtrup, would see the Danish city become one of 20 cities that work through global channels to promote the energy sector locally. The Energy City network was established in 1995 and is currently made up of 19 cities from Norway, USA, Canada, China, Britain and Russia.
“Esbjerg stands to gain real, tangible benefits by being a member of WECP, ” says Mr Søtrup. “For example, we will participate in networking meetings that coincide with the major oil and gas conferences around the world. It is truly a golden opportunity that will draw attention to Esbjerg and help us make new contacts – crucial factors in attracting new businesses and, of course, establishing partnerships with our existing local businesses.”
“We have a close partnership with Stavanger as we share a common business profile and our ports are both located on the North Sea, ” Mr Søtrup adds. “After discussions with my counterpart in Stavanger, I could easily see the WECP benefits for Esbjerg – in terms of business development activities, as well as the possibility of joint projects and the sharing of best practices within municipal work and the way we work with the business community.”
“WECP is an important network for Stavanger, ” says Stavanger spokesperson Christine Sagen Helgø. “We have a great deal in common and face many of the same challenges as the other Energy Cities in WECP. Through this network we can learn from one another and our experiences, and it has helped us develop our business and industry-related contacts. We have also gained extensive experience connecting our knowledge institutions.”
A delegation from Esbjerg will be present at WECP’s Houston meeting in May 2013 – at the same time as OTC – where the mayor of Esbjerg will present the city’s candidacy for WECP.
“The meeting in Houston will be a great opportunity to make new contacts, and I hope of course that we will return home from Houston as full members of WECP, ” says Mr Søtrup.