DFDS is investing in the biofuel producer MASH Energy. “The company produces biofuel from agricultural waste in Tanzania. In this way we take responsibility for developing an alternative to fossil fuel and live up to our new CSR ambition,” says Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR.
DFDS has elevated our Corporate Social Responsibility to a strategic level, and yesterday we took a major step to fulfil our higher ambitions. With Torben Carlsen’s signature, we sealed an agreement to an investment of up to DKK 10 million which will be made in three stages and eventually make DFDS a 24% shareholder of the company.
“MASH Energy produces biofuel from agricultural waste in Tanzania. The CO2-neutral biofuel can be used in ships, and we are currently working on a plan to prepare the biofuel for testing in one of our ship’s engines,” says Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR.
The CO2-neutral biofuel can be used in ships, and DFDS and Mash are currently working on a plan to prepare the biofuel for testing in one of our ship’s engines.
“During the growth season, the nut trees absorb CO2 that is emitted when the biofuel is combusted. In addition, there is a substantial further effect associated with the production of the fuel as the by-product – the so-called biochar – binds CO2 during the production process. Furthermore, the biochar is an efficient fertiliser in the fields where the additional plant growth will absorb large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere,” says Jakob Andersen, CEO of MASH Energy, and lecturer at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU.
Jakob Andersen is CEO of MASH Energy. He and four colleagues from DTU are the founders of the company, which since the beginning of 2015 has developed the thermochemical processes and the reactor that can produce the oil from agricultural wastes, including waste products of nut farming and processing.
The technology is already being used as part of an UN-supported project in Tanzania for the production of biofuel. The fuel is currently being produced from the waste products of multiple nut processing factories and has been delivered and sold to local-industry.
The reactor is constructed by the company’s own employees in MASH Energy’s factory in India.
“We are extremely pleased to add a large ship operator such as DFDS to the ownership circle and that we will thus get the opportunity to test the biofuel in engines and verify that our product is indeed of the quality and price necessary for it to succeed in the shipping industry,” says Jakob Andersen.
“The investment is a result of our ambition to take responsibility for the development of commercially viable biofuel that is a real alternative to fossil fuels. We have had a close dialogue with the company and its owners since its founding in 2015 and have great confidence in our joint abilities to fulfil the ambitions that are also perfectly in line with DFDS’ ambitions to reduce the carbon footprints of our ships,” says Sofie.
“In the long term, the aim is to produce enough quantities to make the biofuel commercially viable and work towards identifying other waste products that can be used to produce bio-fuel.”
The company will continue being operated by the founders. DFDS will get two seats in the board of directors where we will be represented by Rene Elster, VP of Corporate Finance, and Patricia Ayoub, Project & Portfolio Manager in DFDS’ Innovation & Technology department.
April 25, 2019