Press release from Business Esbjerg
Global group Eurazeo, which manages investment funds worth more than DKK 250bn worldwide, has chosen Esbjerg as the location for its first investment on Danish soil.
In 2022, it became a 50-50 joint venture partner with Norwegian Quantafuel in the company Resource Danmark, which is currently building Denmark’s largest sorting plant for plastics.
The partners recently celebrated the topping-out ceremony for the giant plant in Måde near Esbjerg, which is scheduled to be operational as early as the first quarter of 2024.
“Our investment fund is a so-called ‘dark green fund’ that invests sustainably. Most of these types of funds invest only in renewable energy, but we have a much broader mandate, so we can also invest in the circular economy”, says Martin Sichelkow, Managing Director of Eurazeo.
He himself has many years of international experience in finance and infrastructure from other French funds and is based at the Paris headquarters. Being of Danish origin, he is particularly proud of the fund’s first investment in his country of birth, which will help put Denmark at the forefront of sorting and recycling plastics. The new plant will have an annual capacity of 160,000 tonnes of plastic, roughly equivalent to the volume from all of the country’s households.
“Most of these types of funds invest only in renewable energy, but we have a much broader mandate, so we can also invest in the circular economy.”
Managing Director of Eurazeo
When it came to choosing an investment partner for Quantafuel, the French fund proved to be a great match with shared values. This also applies to Eurazeo’s broad, green vision, which sees excellent prospects in Denmark in general and the Esbjerg area in particular.
“So much is happening in Power-to-X, which is clearly evident, for example, in the large H2 Energy project right on the neighbouring plot here, and this is also a sector we’re looking at,” says Sichelkow.
Eurazeo will not go into offshore wind, where there is both too much congestion and too large an investment volume, but is otherwise looking broadly at the opportunities.
“We are looking at newer types of business – something like this project – as well as, for example, PtX, biogas and other forms of clean tech.”
The Eurazeo director is also very open to other investments in the area.
“I’ve completed projects all over the world and I can really feel a difference here in terms of how business-friendly Esbjerg is. It means a lot to an investor that they feel welcome.”
Managing Director of Eurazeo
“I think Esbjerg has done a great job of positioning itself in the green transition – I think it’s a really good strategic choice after the oil-gas era,” Sichelkow points out.
“I’ve completed projects all over the world and I can really feel a difference here in terms of how business-friendly the city is. It means a lot to an investor that they feel welcome, for instance, that the municipality and Business Esbjerg help with everything and with all the permits, so we can focus on building a business. So, the thought of further investment in the area doesn’t scare us – on the contrary – I wouldn’t rule it out at all”.
He also emphasises the highly skilled local workforce and sees the many large projects in the area as an opportunity to create a positive circle – even if they are competing for some of the same skills.
“It helps make Esbjerg a ‘green hub’, and we see it as an advantage that we have, for example, the H2 Energy project right next door,” says Sichelkow.
Business Esbjerg’s investment attraction programme Invest in Esbjerg is delighted that another green tech project is well on its way from vision to reality.
“Now the results of our strategy and long-term efforts are literally sprouting from the ground and becoming a reality. The Resource Denmark project is also a good example of how major international investors have recognised the opportunities here in the Esbjerg area,” says Uffe Lundgaard, Head of Investment and International Relations at Business Esbjerg.
“The many projects fertilise each other and contribute to our strong energy and green tech cluster, where there are even more exciting projects in the pipeline.”
“Now the results of our strategy and long-term efforts are literally sprouting from the ground and becoming a reality. The project is also a good example of how major international investors have recognised the opportunities in Esbjerg.”
Head of Investment and International Relations at Business Esbjerg
For Resource Denmark, the next step is the installation of the actual sorting plant in the new and vast hall measuring almost 8,000 square metres and with a ceiling height of 20 metres. The German equipment supplier will start work in April, after which the plant will be commissioned in collaboration with the operators before going into operation in the first quarter of 2024.
The very first employee is Plant Director Lars H. Kristensen, who is returning to Esbjerg where he studied chemical engineering.
“I actually wrote a project on plastic recycling way back in 1994, so it’s great to see that something is finally happening in this area,” says Kristensen with a smile.
He will now build a team of around 40 people in production and 10 in administration and is looking forward to starting the recruitment process.
“We are building an attractive new factory with an excellent and important purpose. So, we have a good story to tell, and I am sure that many talented employees will want to join us,” says Kristensen.
“We are building an attractive new factory with an excellent and important purpose. So, we have a good story to tell, and I am sure that many talented employees will want to join us.”
Lars H. Kristensen
Plant Director, Resource Denmark
Originally published on 12 April.
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