DFDS invests in biofuel start-up
DFDS, has invested in biofuel developer start-up company MASH Energy ApS. MASH Energy ApS produces bio-oil from agricultural waste. The CO2 neutral biofuel can be used in ships, and the residual product is an effective fertilizer. With its investment of up to DKK 10 million (about $1.5 billion), DFDS has become a co-owner of the company with shared responsible for developing a commercially viable alternative to fossil fuels. The plan is to work towards testing the fuel on a DFDS vessel, DFDS said.
MASH Energy, is currently producing biofuel from the by-products of nut processing in Tanzania and India.
“The biofuel is CO2-neutral,” says Jakob Andersen, CEO of MASH Energy, and a lecturer at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU. “During the growth season, the nut trees absorb CO2 that is emitted when the biofuel is combusted.”
Andersen says that in addition, there is a substantial further effect associated with the production of the fuel. The by-product – the so-called biochar – binds CO2 during the production process. The biochar is an efficient fertilizer in the fields where the additional plant growth will absorb large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Anderson founded the company with four colleagues from DTU.
The company has developed the thermochemical processes and reactor that can produce the oil from a number of different agricultural wastes, including waste products of nut farming and processing.
The reactor was constructed by the company’s own employees in MASH Energy’s factory in India.
The technology is already being used as part of a 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.
“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.
DFDS in making its investment in three stages and will become a 24% shareholder of the company after the final stage.