Bunker Holding is strengthening its position within new fuels and environmental public affairs with the appointment of Manja Ostertag as Head of Biofuels and Maria Skipper Schwenn as Director of Environmental Regulatory and Public Affairs, thus supporting the Group’s efforts in the green transition.
Both Maria Skipper Schwenn and Manja Ostertag have elaborate experience from their past roles in shipping and new fuels, respectively, and both have been collaborating closely with industry players in making progress on carbon reduction initiatives.
While Maria Skipper Schwenn will drive Bunker Holding’s regulatory and public affairs activities in the transition towards zero carbon shipping, Manja Ostertag’s main area of responsibility will be for all projects related to biofuels.
New Head of Biofuels
Manja Ostertag will spearhead Bunker Holding’s transition from fossil fuels to biofuels, contributing to achieving the Group’s ambition to be the market’s leading independent facilitator in shipping’s transition to low-carbon and new fuels.
“I am really looking forward to embarking on this ambitious journey together with Bunker Holding and to using my expertise and experience in a new setting. I am joining the Group at a very exciting time, as the development in the industry towards low-carbon reduction initiatives is accelerating at a fast pace,” says Manja Ostertag.
Manja Ostertag comes from a position as Director of Sales & Trading at Renewable Energy Group, an international producer and supplier of biofuels. She has also previously worked for BP in several positions related to technical procurement, sales, and operations.
She has been in the biofuels industry since 2010 when the road transport sector first started to phase in biofuels. Her focus has been on developing new markets and supporting clients on their decarbonization journeys by providing a variety of low-carbon fuel solutions in line with regulatory requirements. For the past couple of years, Manja Ostertag’s primary focus has been on developing sales to the maritime industry, where her team closed one of the first biofuel sales to a client operating in the maritime sector, which resulted in the client running its vessel solely on biodiesel.
Manja Ostertag has a diploma in Maritime Shipping from Shipping College London and a certificate in Alternative Fuels from Lloyd’s Maritime Academy in addition to a Master of Science in Business Administration from HOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from HAW Hamburg and a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on International and European Business Law.
She will assume her new role on April 24th and will report to Valerie Ahrens, Senior Director of New Fuels and Carbon Markets at Bunker Holding.
New Director of Environmental Regulatory and Public Affairs
With more than a decade of experience in leading Danish Shipping’s work on decarbonization, environment, and security, Maria Skipper Schwenn will strengthen Bunker Holding’s public affairs activities as part of facilitating and accelerating the decarbonization of the maritime sector. She will thus play a vital role in Bunker Holding’s efforts to maximize its influence in shaping the regulatory outcome for shipping’s decarbonization.
“I am very excited to pursue this opportunity with Bunker Holding and to be working on this all-important agenda. Being the world’s leading fuel supplier offers a unique opportunity to be a driving force in the transition towards zero carbon shipping. I believe that Bunker Holding has a strong platform as basis for taking part in the public debate related to climate change and decarbonization,” says Maria Skipper Schwenn.
In her past roles, Maria Skipper Schwenn has represented the political interests of the Danish ship owners at national and international level, providing a solid basis for decision-making among policy makers and authorities. In addition, she has been a member of the Danish delegation to IMO and thereby deeply involved in the development of several frameworks and policies on decarbonization and reduction incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of ships, such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Carbon Intensity Index (CII), to name a few.
Maria holds a degree in Political Science as well as European Politics and Administration. She will assume her new role at Bunker Holding on July 24thand will also report to Valerie Ahrens.
“I am very excited to have Maria and Manja join Bunker Holding. They are both experts in their fields and have excellent track records. I am confident they will contribute immensely to the strengthening of the Group’s position in achieving our desired outcome and influence on the green transition. Maria and Manja both have drive but also humility with regard to the very exciting and challenging journey that lies ahead. Without a doubt, they are going to be great additions to Bunker Holding,” says Valerie Ahrens, Senior Director of New Fuels and Carbon Markets.
Taking a leading role
In 2022, Bunker Holding launched its new ambitious five-year strategy, Fueling the Future, with one of the key drivers being moving responsibly together with suppliers and clients. The foundation of the strategy is to lead the Group through the coming years of radical change in the industry, including the transition to more sustainable fuels.
Going forward, Bunker Holding will continue to increase investment in key areas to achieve the Group’s ambition to be the market’s leading independent facilitator in shipping’s transition to low-carbon and new fuels. Among these key focus areas are establishing in-house expertise and advisory capabilities within decarbonization, supporting the establishment of the bunker infrastructure needed to supply low- zero emission fuels, and supporting customers in navigating the EU and IMO energy transition shipping reforms, including compliance with the mandatory carbon markets.