DONG Energy plans to change company name to Ørsted
Following the profound strategic transformation from black to green energy and the recent divestment of the upstream oil and gas business, the DONG Energy name is no longer suitable for the company.
Therefore, DONG Energy has today called for an Extraordinary General Meeting to ask the shareholders of the company to approve a change of the company name to Ørsted.
Thomas Thune Andersen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said:
"DONG was originally short for Danish Oil and Natural Gas. With our profound strategic transformation and the divestment of our upstream oil and gas business, this is no longer who we are. Therefore, it is now the right time to change our name.
"Our vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Climate change is one of the most serious challenges the world faces today, and to avoid inflicting serious harm to the global ecosystems, we need to fundamentally change the way we power the world – from black to green energy."
Henrik Poulsen, CEO of DONG Energy, said:
"2017 will be remembered as the year when offshore wind became cheaper than black energy, 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."
From green transformation to green growth
Over the past decade, DONG Energy has transformed from an energy company based on coal and oil to a global leader in renewable energy. The company has been able to increase earnings considerably, while reducing the use of coal in its power stations and building out new offshore wind farms. Since 2006, CO2-emissions have been reduced by 52%, and by 2023, they will have been reduced by 96% compared to 2006.
DONG Energy has divested its upstream oil and gas business and decided to stop all use of coal. In addition, the company has established a new storage team to explore new business opportunities in energy storage. DONG Energy has also established a new corporate ventures unit in Silicon Valley, California, to explore emerging energy technologies and potential long-term business opportunities.
As battery storage and new energy technologies mature and as a more flexible demand side is developed, natural gas will, in the coming years, continue to support the transition to an entirely green energy system. DONG Energy will continue to trade in and sell natural gas to its customers, facilitating the bridge to a world that runs entirely on green energy.
The new name and brand
The new name – Ørsted – references the innovative Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted (1777-1851). Ørsted spearheaded several scientific discoveries, including the discovery of electromagnetism in 1820, which helped lay the scientific foundation for how today's societies are powered.
As part of becoming Ørsted, a new logo and brand identity will be introduced. The new brand identity is inspired by the Danish design tradition in being simple, functional and human and supporting a sustainable way of life. The brand identity will consist of a full spectrum of colours, inspired by Scandinavian nature and the Danish 20th century artist Vilhelm Lundstrøm.
Henrik Poulsen said:
"We have undertaken significant efforts to find the right name and brand identity for our company. Our new name recognises H.C. Ørsted's curiosity, dedication and interest in nature and our brand identity speaks to the innovation and profound understanding of nature, which is vital to create a world that runs entirely on green energy."
Matthew Wright, Managing Director for DONG Energy UK, said:
"This change to our name reflects our transformation into a fully-fledged renewable energy company. Ørsted perfectly captures our roots as a business and the exciting future ahead.
"In the UK, we are leading the renewable energy transformation and our offshore wind business is part of a hugely successful and growing industry. Offshore wind is now a mainstream renewable technology in the UK, providing low-cost green energy, while creating quality jobs across the country and a thriving supply chain for businesses.
"Our world first bio energy plant in Northwich and complete energy solutions sales business also underline our position at the heart of the energy transition."
The roll out of the new name and design across the markets in which DONG Energy is present will take place from 6 November.
The information in this announcement does not change DONG Energy's previous financial guidance for the financial year 2017 or the announced expected investment level for 2017.
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More on H.C. Ørsted:
Hans Christian Ørsted was born in Rudkøbing in the Southern part of Denmark in 1777. He graduated in pharmacology from the University of Copenhagen in 1797 and became a professor in 1806.
Throughout his prestigious career as a physicist, Ørsted was deeply involved in studying how the forces of nature interrelated.
His interest in nature, curiosity and persistent pursuit of answers led him to discover electromagnetism in 1820. H. C. Ørsted's discovery was immediately widely recognized in science and helped pave the way for numerous technological advances, amongst others power production.
His drive for fresh thinking led the University of Copenhagen to develop a comprehensive physics and chemistry programme and establish new laboratories under his guidance. In 1829, H.C. Ørsted established the Royal Danish Polytechnic Institute, now Technical University of Denmark (DTU), of which he was the first director.
H.C. Ørsted became an important figurehead not only within physics, but also within philosophy, poetry and aesthetics. He was a published writer and poet, his main work being the book "The Soul in Nature" (1850). The collection of articles presents his life philosophy and views on a wide variety of issues. H.C. Ørsted was a close friend to the fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen.
He was married to Inger Birgitte Ballum. They had seven children. H. C. Ørsted died in 1851 at the age of 73. He is buried in Copenhagen at Assistens Cemetery.
Further information on Extraordinary General Meeting:
The planned name change will necessitate an amendment of the company's Articles of Association. An Extraordinary General Meeting will be held on 30 October 2017 to formally decide the name change.
As a consequence of the name change, DONG Energy will change its stock exchange ticker to Orsted. The change in ticker will become effective from start of trading on 31 October 2017, assuming a positive outcome at the general meeting.