Top 30 People: 8. Henrik Poulsen CEO, Dong Energy

The Dong Energy modus operandi is now well established. Look for substantial offshore developments in European waters; secure solid, well-established investment partners to share the risk; and be right at the forefront of implementing the latest technology.

Henrik Poulsen, 47, appointed as CEO of the Danish state-owned utility in April 2012 after heading telecoms firm TDC, has continued to steer the company in that direction.

(2013: 4)


Typical of this approach is the 210MW Westermost Rough project off England's north-east coast, now under construction and scheduled for commissioning in 2015. Dong owns half the development, with the Marubeni Corporation and the UK's Green Investment Bank each holding a 25% share. It is the first commercial project to use Siemens' new 6MW turbine.

This year provided further evidence of Dong's enthusiasm for technological solutions to drive down the cost of offshore wind. It became the first company to place an order for the new 8MW MHI-Vestas V-164 turbine and, backed by EUR7.3 million from the UK's Carbon Trust, it has been working on a suction bucket jacket foundation as a cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative to the ubiquitous monopile.

However, the hand on the tiller looked less steady earlier this year when Dong controversially sold 19% of the company to investment bank Goldman Sachs for EUR1.1 billion. The deal provoked a huge row within Denmark's three-party coalition government.

While the injection of funds ensured Dong could continue to invest in large-scale offshore projects, the terms of the deal raised concerns, particularly the veto rights that were granted to Goldman Sachs. It means that for any major decisions Dong makes in the future, from new acquisitions to senior management changes, it will have to gain Goldman Sachs' prior approval.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in