DONG ENERGY, formerly Danish Oil and Natural Gas, will become Ørsted on 6 November 2017, as it seeks to become a pure play renewable energy firm.
DONG sold its oil and gas business to INEOS on May this year for US$1.05bn, after deciding in 2016 to exit the upstream oil and gas industry. DONG, the company says, is “no longer an accurate description” of the company. The new name comes from Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted who discovered electromagnetism in 1820, paving the way for modern electricity generation. The company will now hold an extraordinary general meeting on 30 October to ask shareholders to approve the change of name.
Since 2006, DONG has cut its coal use by 73% by replacing the coal consumed in its power plants with biomass, which halved its CO2 emissions. The company expects to phase out coal entirely by 2023 and cut its emissions by 96% compared to 2006. It will now focus solely on green energy, including offshore wind, biomass, and waste-to-energy. The company is also looking at batteries and energy storage, and has established corporate ventures in Silicon Valley in California, US, to investigate emerging energy technologies.
“2017 will be remembered as the year when offshore wind became cheaper than black energy [from fossil fuel], as demonstrated by the recent tenders for offshore wind in Germany and the UK. It has never been more clear that it is possible to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. The time is now right for us to change our name to demonstrate that we want to help create such a world,” said Henrik Poulsen, CEO of DONG Energy.
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