The Trade Council in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently launches a platform to promote Danish Urban Solutions. With ever growing challenges around the globe due to increasing urbanization, demand for Danish innovative, sustainable and intelligent solutions is high. The Trade Councils extensive global network provides ample opportunities for export, and with the launch of the Urban Solutions Platform, they seek to formalize a network of missions and the Danish suppliers, technical advisors and public authorities together with developers, investors and municipalities globally.
2017 looking strong
Danish export to the U.S. is looking strong in 2017. Based on numbers from Oxford Economics and Statistics Denmark, we are expecting a growth in export at impressive 17.5 percent. The export of goods is expected to go from 52.565 million DKK in 2016 to 61.763 million DKK in 2017. These numbers are based on a projected growth in the U.S. GNP at 2.3 percent, as well as a strong exchange rate.
In 2016 the export from Denmark to the U.S. decreased by 3.1 percent. What these numbers do not show is that there was a growth in the export of pharmaceutical products, at 1.3 percent compared to 2015. Pharmaceutical products account for 55 percent of the Danish trade export. However, there was a significant decrease in the export of machines and vehicles, and this sector, which accounts for 22 percent of the Danish trade export to the US, decreased its export with 16,7 percent. The export of machines and vehicles was exceptionally strong in 2015, and thus the numbers from 2016 where actually not low, they averaged the export of the previous years.
Positive overall trend
Despite this stagnation in export in 2016, the overall trend over the last years has been a considerable growth in export of Danish products to the US, and today the US is the third biggest trade partner measured on direct trade. Furthermore, an analysis made by Danske Bank shows that the US is even more important for Denmark than these trade numbers show. In fact, the US is the second largest export market, when looking at the final destination of Danish products. For the full Danske Bank analysis, click the PDF to the right .
Overall, all numbers indicate that 2017 will be a great year for Danish export to the U.S.
Status on Exports
After a record year in the growth of Danish exports to the U.S. in 2015 and stagnation in 2016, Danish exports are off to yet another significant increase according to the Export Forecast from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In the analysis from Statistics Denmark, in 2015 Denmark’s total exports to the U.S. increased by 27.7 pct., with the increase primarily coming from an increase in the export of goods. This was a truly remarkable increase, which cemented the strong bilateral trade relations between Denmark and the U.S.
Following up on a record year like 2015 was always going to be tough and 2016 did indeed turn out to be quite the challenge overall. The estimate for the overall growth in exports to the U.S. in 2016 is currently at -2.8 pct. according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Export Forecast, with the decrease mainly stemming from ship freight due to decreasing freight rates and the exports of machinery.
However, looking ahead to 2017, the Export Forecast estimates a 17.5 pct. increase in the export of goods, with the estimate for the export of services not yet available. This indicates that by the end of 2017, the export of goods over the last 6 year will have increased by more than 36 pct.!
The Trade Council at the Embassy looks forward to helping Danish companies continue on this positive path, and we look forward to a year full of opportunities.
Danish Exports to the U.S. and change in Exchange Rate relative to 2012
In a new project facilitated by the Trade Council, Danish companies are to retrofit a wastewater utility outside Chicago with Danish technologies. If the project establish foothold in the U.S., this could mean orders worth billions to Denmark in the future.
In this new project Danish companies will retrofit the Glenbard Wastewater Authority with Danish technology. Behind the project is the Water Technology Alliance (WTA) – a collaboration between leading Danish water technology manufacturers, Aarhus Vand and the Trade Council.
The project has also gained 10 million DKK in support from the MUDP.
“This project is truly a unique opportunity to show the American market how it is possible to integrate Danish technology in an American wastewater facility,” said the Consul General Jakob Andersen, who is in charge of the Trade Council’s effort to support Danish export of technologies to the U.S. within energy and environment.
The retrofitting of the wastewater utility is expected to be finished in 2019, and the project is the first of its kind in this magnitude where Danish solutions are developed and adjusted to an American plant. In the future, the retrofitting could have a great impact on Danish export of water technologies, according to Jakob Andersen.
“This is the icing on the cake after four years of intensive export promotion. There is a lot to gain, if this project gets established in the US. Specifically, it could mean orders worth billions for Danish companies,” he said.
The Danish companies participating in the project is AVK, Danfoss, DHI, Grundfos, Landia, LINAK, Nissen Energiteknik og Stjernholm. The project is being led by DHI.
Regulations and Outdated Technology
Many American wastewater treatment plants are major consumers of energy and the aim of this project is to achieve more energy neutrality and a better effluent quality.
“In addition, the purpose of this project is to develop, adjust and demonstrate Danish wastewater technology in the U.S.,” said Jacob Vind, director of the Water Technology Alliance (WTA), who among others is behind the project.
“A lot of American wastewater utilities are operated with outdated technology, and they do not yet clean the water for nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus like we do in Denmark,” he said.
Several places in the U.S. are looking towards a tightening of the emission requirements on nitrogen and phosphorus in particular. Therefore, a lot of American wastewater treatment plants are to face new challenges.
“The American wastewater utilities must adapt to the new regulations, and that can turn out expensive, if they do not look into energy-neutral solutions. For Denmark this means a unique export opportunity, as we are technologically more advanced in this area,” said Jacob Vind.
According to the Consul General, Jakob Andersen, it is also about gradually influencing the American mentality.
“It is important for us to show that in Denmark we see wastewater treatment plants as a resource and not a burden,” he said.
In collaboration with Aarhus Vand the WTA is working on building and strengthening networks within the water and wastewater industry in the U.S.
“We work from a three point perspective. First, our employee form Aarhus Vand visits the American wastewater utility to determine what is needed and where we can help. Then we facilitate workshops where Danish companies present their solutions to the specific utility. Finally we invite the American company to Denmark to show them in person how this can be done,” said Jacob Vind, director of WTA.
According to Jakob Andersen it is significantly more expensive to retrofit an older wastewater treatment plant in the U.S. than in Denmark.
“The reason for the higher prices is that American projects often have too many advisors on board and too many links in the supply chain. Our goal is to offer a complete solution with both Danish suppliers and American advisors,” he said.
New Financial Model
This project has been established through close collaboration between WTA and Aarhus Vand. Both the execution and the finance make the project unique.
“This retrofitting is unique because we unify technical solutions from different Danish companies offered in community through the WTA,” said Jacob Vind.
“Beside the WTA-collaboration the financial model is also quite special. In this particular model, the utility owner does not need to provide “investment capital”. Through performance guarantees the model ensures that both the plant owner and the U.S. investors will get a share of the savings that can be achieved by using Danish water technology solutions,” he said.
The combination of the technical and financial solution is expected to have great potential in the U.S.
The Danish Embassy to the United States and the Danish Innovation Centre, Silicon Valley are organising a tour to Silicon Valley and Bay Area in April 2017 for Danish companies, organisations and consultants to learn about the tech innovation in food and agriculture
Copenhagen, Denmark-based Hartmann US are going to break ground on and expand the food packaging manufacturer’s new facility in Rolla, marking the company’s first location in the United States. Hartmann’s $30 million-project is expected to create at least 50 new jobs for the area, which the company expects to fill by the start of 2017. The nearly 100-year old company employs 2,100 people globally, with operations in Europe, Israel, South America and Canada.
The Rolla facility will produce sustainably-made, molded-fiber egg cartons for the U.S. market. Cartons will be made of 100 percent recycled newspaper sourced from the Midwest and distributed nationally. Upon reaching optimal levels of production, the company expects to recycle 25,000 to 30,000 tons of post- consumer paper per year at the Rolla facility to produce fiber cartons. Hartmann’s customers include major retailers such as Kroger, Wal-Mart, and Whole Foods as well as small farms.
The company, who won a 2014-2015 European Business Award for its efforts in environmental and corporate sustainability was introduced by governor Nixon at the official opening of the plant. “By choosing to locate their first U.S. facility in Missouri, Hartmann joins a resurgent manufacturing industry that has helped increase employment in the Show-Me State to a record high,” Gov. Nixon said. “Missouri’s highly-skilled workers, central location, and pro-business climate provide a strong foundation for Hartmann to build on its success. I’m proud to welcome this global leader to Missouri as we continue to create good jobs and grow our economy.”
Among Hartmann’s first hires was Plant Manager Varon Martinez, a U.S. Army veteran based out of Fort Leonard Wood. At today’s event, Gov. Nixon presented the Show-Me Heroes Flag of Freedom award to the company for its commitment to recruiting Missouri’s military men and women seeking civilian employment.
To assist Hartmann with its new Missouri-based operations, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation criteria
The Danish District Energy Alliance, represented by Danish delegates Mr Jakob Bjerregaard and Mr Niels Malskær from the Embassy of Denmark in the U.S. attended the IDEA 2016 annual conference and trade show in St. Paul, Minnesota. The purpose of their exhibit was to showcase products as well as projects that Danish District Energy Alliance partners are involved in.
The conference was an international forum shaping the next generation of district energy, bringing together experienced global industry leaders from across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East to discuss and debate the state and the future of energy.
IDEA 2016 brought together companies within the sector to explore best practices in developing, owning and operating district energy, CHP & micro-grids in cities, drawing from local operations including Minnesota’s cities, utilities, campuses and medical institutions.
A proposed district heating project in Juneau has captured the attention of the Danish District Energy Alliance.
On April 15-16, The Danish District Energy Alliance, represented by Senior Advisor, Jakob Bjerregaard from the Embassy of Denmark in Washington D.C. and Miha Kavcic from the Danfoss Heating in North America, visited the Alaskan Capital, Juneau, to learn about and discuss an upcoming district heating project for the city.
The Alliance gave a presentation to the legislature in Juneau about the history and current operation of Denmark’s successful district heating systems, and the opportunities lying ahead for Juneau and Alaska.
Later that week the new House Bill 143 – which passed both in the House and the Senate – authorized the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to issue up to $120 million in conduit issuance bonds to finance Juneau Hydropower’s hydroelectric project at Sweetheart Lake. In addition to supplying power to Kensington Mine, the project also includes a sea-water heat-pump connected to a district heating system for downtown Juneau.
After having read about these developments the Danish District Energy Alliance decided to showcase the possibilities that the Danish District Energy Alliance could offer to the citizens of Juneau.
Denmark has a long standing history within district heating as Embassy representative Mr Jakob Bjerregaard explained in an interview to KTOO.
“We’ve had district energy in Denmark for 110 years and we’ve developed it quite heavily, and now we’re trying to bring these world class solutions to North America”.
When asked about the benefits related to adopting district energy heating in Alaska, Mr Bjerregaard explained:
“There’s quite a few. Of course, you’d expect the heat cost to go down because oil is pretty expensive. There’s the convenience of not having to maintain an oil boiler etc. The air quality in the city will be better, and the general economic development in the city; you will basically keep the money in the community instead of sending it to oil companies outside of the city and the state.”
This is the first step of many a confident Mr. Bjerregaard concludes “There’s already some district energy systems in Alaska. They’re a little bit more “old-school,” you could say; they are steam-based, whereas we are trying to bring a more modern hot water based solution to the state. I think we’ll find some more projects up here, definitely.
Currently the city of Juneau, as with many other Alaskan cities and communities, is supplied by electricity from hydro power, but mainly heated by oil that is shipped in.
A number of Danish companies in the water sector will now be making their expertise on water available to their American colleagues. A California-based alliance established by the Danish water distribution company Aarhus Vand, and supported by The Danish Industry Foundation and the Danish Trade Council, will serve as the foundation for a close partnership between Danish and American companies, public bodies, and education & science institutions in the water sector.
The alliance, called Water Technology Alliance (WTA) California, further consists of the companies Kampstrup, Applied Biomimetic, Danfoss, Grundfos, Ramboll, Smith Innovation, Skytem, DHI, and Leif Koch A/S, all of which are ready to take part in the partnership with their American colleagues.
The alliance will focus on the water cycle as a whole. In addition to looking at the water crisis in California they will also be looking at water distribution as well as wastewater treatment where the high Californian energy prices create the perfect platform for energy efficient Danish solutions. In this context, Danish research and expertise will prove to be very attractive.
The Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs together with the Danish ambassador to the U.S. Mr. Lars Lose, inaugurated the alliance on 4 April in San Francisco, CA.
“I am happy to see that Danish water technology companies have the expertise to help with the demand caused by the drought in California. The collaboration is a good example of how Danish research can take on international tasks beyond the borders of Denmark. Denmark and California can benefit from each other’s knowledge, and in the meantime also create jobs,” Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs said.