The indicative price range has been set at NOK 69 – NOK 88 ($11 – $14) per share with dealings in the shares on Oslo Børs to commence on or about 9 May 2006, when it is expected to launch with a value of up to $6.9 billion.

The offering would be the biggest in Norway since oil and gas group Statoil was listed in 2001.

Chief executive Erik Thorsen told Reuters that the company would have a capitalisation, based on the indicated share price, of NOK34.1- NOK 43.5 billion ($5.39-$6.88 billion) after the share issue.

With both oil and carbon trades hitting record prices, such a floatation is expected to attract a good deal of interest from those seeking an alternative to oil.

Investors in the retail offering will be given a discount of 10% of the first round lot.