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Dong Energy changes its name to Orsted, moves away from oil and gas, goes big on renewables

Chris Radburn | PA Images | Getty Images

Danish energy powerhouse Dong Energy is to change its name to Orsted, it has been announced.

"Dong was originally short for Danish Oil and Natural Gas," Thomas Thune Andersen, chairman of the board of directors, said in a statement Monday. "With our profound strategic transformation and the divestment of our upstream oil and gas business, this is no longer who we are. Therefore, now is the right time to change our name."

The past 10 years has seen Dong Energy move away from coal and oil and embrace renewable energy. As well as divesting its upstream oil and gas business, the company has made the decision to halt all use of coal. Carbon emissions have been cut by 52 percent since 2006. By 2023, carbon emissions will have been slashed by 96 percent when compared to 2006, the firm said.

CEO Henrik Poulsen said Monday that Orsted was now dedicated to green energy. "Our focus going forward will be on green growth based on our existing business platforms in offshore wind, biomass, green customer solutions and advanced waste-to-energy solutions," he said.

Dong's shift and commitment to renewables was highlighted in September, when it was awarded the contract for the biggest offshore wind farm on the planet. The Hornsea Project Two will have a capacity of 1,386 megawatts, which is enough to power more than 1.3 million homes in the U.K. The development, which will be built off the east coast of the U.K., is expected to become operational by 2022.

Hans Christian Orsted — pronounced "ursted" — was born in Denmark in 1777 and discovered electromagnetism in 1820, Dong said. Poulsen said the new name of the business would recognize Hans Christian Orsted's curiosity, dedication and interest in nature.

An Extraordinary General Meeting will take place on October 30 to formally decide the change of company name.