Sohmen-Pao invests in European biotech firm

Fresh from investing in an American methanol production facility, Andreas Sohmen-Pao has turned his attention to biogas.

Ductor, a Finnish-Swiss biotechnology company, will develop up to 200 new biogas and sustainable fertilizer projects in Europe and North America in the next three years, having received a significant investment from Sohmen-Pao’s BW Group.

The new projects such as biogas plants will use agricultural or fish waste to create two separate products: renewable biogas and sustainable organic fertilizer.

The new facilities will be built in Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Norway, and the United States, among others.

“As company owners we need to push and do our utmost to counter climate change. Ductor’s goal is to use the circular economy as a weapon in this fight and now, with the help of BW Group, we can speed up our operations,” said Ari Mokko, founder and CEO of Ductor.

BW Group will become a major shareholder in Ductor as well as a strategic partner.

Andreas Beroutsos, a senior executive at BW and now a board member of Ductor, commented: “BW Group has been focused on the energy transition for some time, with prior investments in batteries, renewables, water treatment, and other technologies to address global challenges. Ductor has a unique solution producing two valuable outputs from waste: biofuels and organic fertilizers.”

During the last year, Ductor opened its first operational sustainable fertilizer and biogas facility in Mexico and contracted for three new facilities in Poland. The company already has around 75 new projects under development in Europe and North America.

Ductor’s fermentation technology converts agricultural waste, such as chicken manure, into organic fertilizer for large-scale farming and biogas in the form of biomethane to replace fossil fuel energy.

Splash reported last month on news that Hafina, the Michael Skov-led product tanker arm of the BW Group, is investing in a methanol production facility in the US, fixing a 19-year deal to ship the product around the globe too.

Sohmen-Pao, speaking at an event organised by class society DNV GL last month, said his company is looking at methanol, biofuels and ammonia on its path towards decarbonisation.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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