FVB-News 46: Message from the CEO
The corona pandemic is putting us through tough trials, but is also leading us to new insights and solutions.
Right now, a lot of things revolve around Covid-19 and the current pandemic. This is true both at home and at work. It is also affecting the entire world. No one really knows where we are headed, and it seems a little turbulent in many respects. Many are working from home. This seems to work well for many people and one reason is that we have access to good digital tools today. Of course, the disadvantage is the lack of physical meetings and social interaction.
If there is anything positive in the present situation, it is that we are now forced to learn to work efficiently and with digital tools as support. The result of this is that “unnecessary” trips and meetings will not take place. This saves both money and the environment. Many reports also point out that emissions have been reduced and the climate has been improved in some respects as a consequence of the corona pandemic. In other words, it is clearly proven that we humans can affect the climate. However, the price is high, many people are dying from Covid-19 and the economic consequences can barely be calculated. It’s likely that nothing will be like it was before after the pandemic has subsided. Hopefully, we have learned a lot and can bring new and better behaviors and work methods with us into the future.
The energy industry, which is essential in many ways, seems to be functioning relatively well, despite everything. Of course, it is problematic to not be able to meet with customers and suppliers in a normal way. One challenge for many energy companies with electricity production is that the already low electrical prices are getting even lower as a consequence of the pandemic and the associated “shutdown” of society. Hopefully, these consequences will correct themselves over time.
FVB is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It feels a little strange and sad to “celebrate” such an anniversary in these times. But of course, we should try to focus on it as much as possible throughout 2020. Companies like FVB that are stable and continually growing, mostly organically, are important for Sweden. FVB is employee-owned and along the way we have succeeded in exporting Swedish energy and environmental knowledge to Eastern Europe and the Middle East and have also started operations in both North America and the U.K.
Sustainability is an essential concept for FVB since we deliver technically, economically, and environmentally sustainable energy solutions. Over time, we have put an increasing focus on social sustainability. Our foundation is what we call “sustainable business.” The proof of this is that FVB has created security for our employees for 50 years, with solid economics as a base. We have also created secure long-term customer relationships. We have worked with some customers for all of our 50 years! Without our customers, we would be nothing.
One example of such a fruitful and long-term cooperation is between FVB and SFAB. As shown in the article on pages 8-9, the cooperation through this entire journey has been on strictly commercial grounds and with stiff competition. FVB and SFAB were “born” at the same time. By this time in 1970, district heating was already well established in many major Swedish cities. There was solid expertise and well-established knowledge. This was especially true for the people who founded FVB. Many medium-sized Swedish cities then began to take an interest in district heating, and many feasibility studies and projects were started. FVB was off to a flying start and the rest is history. Later in the year, we will recognize many long-term and rewarding customer relationships that we’ve had throughout the years.
In this FVB Newsletter, you will see there is another anniversary to celebrate. Our Linköping office, which started after a business acquisition, is 20 years old. Today, the group in Linköping is very well established in its home region. A hallmark of FVB is that we cooperate broadly between our groups and offices to be able to offer the best possible team for our customers during assignments. The Linköping office is a good example of this and they have had many major assignments in the Stockholm region. The group is always growing and expanding and now also has expertise in real estate energy, an exciting area where FVB is growing.
District cooling has been around in the Stockholm region for a long time and is well developed. But Stockholm and its surrounding areas are rapidly growing and new energy supply needs are emerging. NCC is building offices, stores, and hotels in the vicinity of Bromma Stockholm Airport and the properties will be cooled with district cooling from Norrenergi. FVB was entrusted with being responsible for project management of this complex project, which includes both underwater installation and hammer drilling under the heavily trafficked Ulvsundaleden. In short, a challenging project that required a very experienced project manager.
It is exciting for FVB to now be seriously involved and making a difference while England is implementing district heating on a slightly larger scale. This is part of achieving the climate goals in the U.K.
In this FVB Newsletter, you can also read about a very exciting and innovative district heating project in Lund, where Kraftringen is building one of the world’s largest low temperature systems for district heating. The innovative part of the project comes down to residual heat from a research facility being used to heat an entire district. The low temperature system is part of an EU project. Development of low temperature systems is very important to the future of district heating. The hope is that the plastic pipes that can be used for low district heating temperatures will reduce culvert costs and increase the competitiveness of district heating. Low temperature systems also enhance the already clear advantages of district heating since they make use of resources (energy flows) that would otherwise be lost. So less energy is wasted compared to conventional district heating systems.
After a mild winter but a fairly cool spring, we are looking forward to a warm and pleasant summer. Next to state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, our Swedish meteorologists will probably have large audiences in the future. None of us can spend our holiday abroad but “are forced” to stay in Sweden this summer. Most of us will probably lie in a hammock and wonder when a vaccine will arrive.
All of us at FVB want to take the opportunity to wish our customers a wonderful summer and hopefully a situation that can allow for some more social interaction than has been the case for some time. Whatever the future may bring, FVB is ready to help our customers – rain or shine.
Leif Breitholtz, CEO of FVB