Stockholm (NordSIP) – Dong Energy, the largest integrated energy company in Denmark, has sold its oil and gas business to Anglo-Swiss chemicals firm Ineos for DKK 8.7 billion ($1.3 billion), fulfilling its goal of green conversion and switching to renewable energy from hydrocarbons, the company announced Wednesday. The move, however, is not entirely without controversy, as somewhere between 115 and 135 employees will thereby also lose their jobs. Meanwhile, roughly 440 employees will transfer to Ineos as part of the sale.
“Our identity is now that we are a leading pure play renewable energy company. Our conversion from being a fossil company a few years ago to being a solid green company has been completed,” Dong CEO Henrik Poulsen said following the sale Wednesday, according to Politiken.dk. “We need to get out ahead with green growth. We are going to expand the ocean wind business. We are going to expand in bioenergy, and we plan to make changes to our coal business,” he added. The company plans to divest its coal assets as well.
The end goal is for Dong Energy to have “coherent green energy systems,” Poulsen added. Addressing the layoffs, Poulsen said: “This is mainly because we are selling a relatively large part of our business. This means the size of the group will be a little smaller, and that means we have seen the need to adjust the number of staff members in our organizations.”
The sale is significant in as far as state-owned Dong, which is named after its origins as the Danish Oil and Natural Gas company, has thereby completed its plan of quitting oil and gas, which was just only just announced last November. The sale, once completed in Q3, will free up Dong to concentrate on its core business of developing and selling windfarms, the Guardian writes, and from which proceeds will be contributed to six offshore windfarms currently under construction.