March 15, 2019 / 11:41 AM / in 7 days

Danske Commodities names CFO as new chief executive from April

OSLO (Reuters) - Danske Commodities, a Danish power and gas trading firm which energy major Equinor acquired last year, will appoint its finance chief as new CEO from April and plans to enter the United States power market, it said on Friday.

Helle Oestergaard Kristiansen will replace chief executive Henrik Lind from April 1. Lind, who is also the firm’s founder, will assume a new role as a member on the board of directors.

Lind’s replacement will not mean a change of strategy, Oestergaard Kristiansen told Reuters, but the firm will look into entering U.S. power trading next year.

“It will allow us to prepare for supporting Equinor on their strategy in the U.S. when it comes to renewables,” she said in an interview.

Equinor has submitted a bid to supply New York with offshore wind power from its Empire Wind project south of Long Island, the company said in February, and the state is expected to choose a supplier in spring this year.

“We definitely have resources to grow Danske Commodities well beyond where it is today. Equinor has quite ambitious target in renewables and offshore wind in the U.S... Danske Commodities will always be a vehicle for Equinor’s growth,” Lind said.

Danske Commodities, which employs around 50 traders and is active in 18 energy markets mainly in Europe, reported its highest ever annual operating result and revenue on Friday.

“The performance was driven by a significant increase in volumes traded and higher energy prices,” the firm said.

Revenue jumped to 9.377 billion euros ($10.61 billion) in 2018 from 5.472 billion euros in 2017, it said in a statement.

Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos and Nina Chestney; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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