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Appointment of two new independent Non-Executive Directors

Published by , Deputy Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Velocys plc (VLS.L), the renewable fuels company, has announced the appointment of two new independent Non-Executive Directors to the Board with effect 1 January 2019: Philip Holland and Darran Messem. Both have significant experience in industries, companies and projects with direct relevance to Velocys.

Philip Holland has a combined 37 years of experience in planning and construction of joint venture onshore/offshore projects, oil and gas processing facilities, petrochemical plants, and alumina refineries. He is an expert in the cross-functional work processes associated with conceptual and detailed design and engineering, procurement, construction, pre-commissioning, planning and scheduling, cost control, and finance management of large scale projects.

During his nearly 10 years at Shell, Holland successfully oversaw its Downstream and Gas & Power projects for six years, including a £5.2 billion Petrochemical facility at Ras Laffan in Qatar and the £8.3 billion Port Arthur Refinery Expansion Project in Texas. Earlier in his career, he led a department of more than 300 employees in Bechtel’s London office with responsibility for all cost, scheduling and estimating activities on projects in EMEA across petroleum and chemical, power, pipelines, offshore, civil, rail, aviation, water and telecoms. Holland currently is a Non-Executive Director at EnQuest plc, where he chairs EnQuest’s Risk Committee and is a member of its Remuneration Committee.

Holland holds a Master of Science in Engineering/Construction Project Management from Cranfield School of Management and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Civil Engineering from Leeds University. 

Darran Messem has 30 years of commercial experience in energy, transport and sustainable development. He is an expert in sustainable business development, with particular focus on renewable energy and low-emission transport, combining skills in market research, strategy development, marketing, business development, project management, deal structuring, and leadership. Messem is an experienced company Director who has worked with organisations both large and small, established and start-up, in many markets including the UK, US, Canada and China.

During his 15 years with Shell, Messem worked on the removal of lead and sulphur from fuel in the UK, the development of new business models in the US, and the development of Shell’s global biofuel business, where he worked on a number of bio-fuel technologies including gasification and Fisher-Tropsch synthesis. He served as Shell’s nominated Director of Iogen Energy, and as Chairman, was closely involved in investments by Goldman Sachs and Volkswagen. Messem also worked for the Carbon Trust, supporting Governments and companies with emission reduction, and for British Airways on market analysis and the development of new services. He is Chair of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, a UK public-private partnership that works to accelerate the deployment of low carbon vehicles and fuels.

Messem holds a Master of Arts in Economic Geography from Cambridge University and a post-graduate diploma in Marketing. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Royal Geographical Society.

On their appointment, Holland and Messem will also join the Company’s Audit & Risk, Remuneration, and Nomination & Governance Committees. Holland will be appointed as Senior Independent Director, and Messem will be appointed as chairman of the Remuneration Committee. Sandy Shaw will continue as a member of the Remuneration Committee and as the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Pierre Jungels, Chairman of the Board of Velocys, said:“In Philip and Darran we have a wonderful combination of skills and experience that will benefit Velocys as we continue on our path to finance, develop and operate our plants in the US and UK. Philip brings extensive experience in developing large, complex projects while Darran has proven success in renewable fuel, low carbon markets and the petrochemical industry. I am very pleased to welcome them both to the Board and see the willingness of such high calibre professionals to help us, by joining our Board, as a huge endorsement of our strategy.”

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