Hamburg  |  18 July 2023  |  Interviews

Focus on Power & Emissions

Since the beginning of December 2022, we have a Power & Emissions Team in Mabanaft. In an interview, the Head of the team, Dr. Arne Weber explains the current challenges of the liquid fuels business and how they plan on facing them.

Power & Emissions, what does that mean, what’s the role of the team?

Arne: Simply put, we are the central trading hub for power, gas and emissions certificates (PGE) within Mabanaft. We help quantify and manage Mabanaft’s existing and upcoming exposures in PGE, e.g. from our ammonia plant in the US. And we support PGE hedging and risk management activities all along the Mabanaft value chain.

We also develop business and trading opportunities in new projects and markets, such as P2X solutions or carbon offsetting. We identify risks and either de-risk or optimise the risks that Mabanaft is willing to take.

On the topic of emissions, can you explain the relevance of emissions for Mabanaft?

Arne: Let’s face it, nearly every company leaves a carbon footprint. Mabanaft is determined to act on these emissions and to take responsibility. My team supports the implementation of Mabanaft’s Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Strategy as part of our daily doing and team objectives. And we are serious about it. For us it is important to push the envelope here.

So, the setup of the PGE desk is part of a bigger initiative within Mabanaft?

Arne: That’s a very good point! The liquid fuels business and energy markets more broadly are currently in one of the biggest transition phases in recent history. Power & gas are increasingly becoming an input to fuel production, reduction of carbon emissions and greenhouse gas is of utmost importance and has highest political attention – and rightly so!

Mabanaft not only acknowledges this paradigm change but is determined to play an active part in the energy transition and already does so. I already mentioned our ammonia plant, P2X, Hydrogen generation, investments in infrastructure that support the energy transition – Mabanaft is firmly committed to investments in sustainable business models.

What does this mean for Mabanaft’s traditional fuels business?

Arne: We have a very loyal customer base all across the industry ranging from industrial clients to private end-consumers through our retail brands. We want to supply these customers as required by their respective businesses and needs. Our offer: a broad and flexible range of products, serving the conventional market. At the same time, we develop innovative low carbon fuel solutions.

In fact, it is regularly our clients that explicitly ask for innovative products: E-fuels, carbon offsets along with their fuel supplies, ammonia as a bunker fuel – we are not trying to tell our customers how to adapt their business to the energy transition. We rather want to join our clients on their journey and develop products which are right for them and the environment.

Sounds like the timing for you joining Mabanaft could not have been better. Why did you choose Mabanaft?

Arne: I was impressed by Mabanaft’s ambition to take an active part in shaping the energy transition. A lot of steps have already been taken, but there is much ground still to be covered in certain areas, which is a great challenge. And of course, the people at Mabanaft have left an awesome impression too…and still do!

Looking at what I bring to the table: I have a very complimentary skillset. I can fill a gap and at the same time add to the great expertise that already exists within the company. So indeed, all- in-all a very good match!

Well, you’ve been here for a few months now, what are your first impressions?

Arne: What I really like, is that everyone wants to make things happen. Whenever you have a good idea, people are willing to find solutions.

It really is an organisation open to new ideas. I have never heard anyone say, “no, we don’t want to do that”. I feel everyone understands that the energy transition is inevitable.  Also, the environment here is so professional. You could sum it up by saying, Mabanaft is big enough to be professional, but small enough to remain agile. 

A bit of a personal question, how does the daily doing in your job align with your personal life?

Arne: It is important to me to do what I think is genuinely right for the environment. Mabanaft’s ambitions and more importantly actions clearly align with what I think we need to do to make a positive change. Of course, we are running a business and at the same time need to do what is right for the company and our clients. However, the question of purpose cannot be overstated. Change begins with each and every one of us – it is fantastic to do what is right for the environment not only in my personal life, but also with what I get to do with my team and for Mabanaft. It’s one hell of a thrilling journey we’re on!

 

Thank you very much for your time.