Optimal Group and Optimal Renewable Gas (ORG) have announced the appointment of Mr Luca Febbraio as Chief Development Officer for Optimal Renewable Gas.
Following the recent signing of their MoU with BOC-Elgas for the development of the Westbury BioLNG Project, ORG has been quick to announce the first of their major recruitments to help drive the new business. Luca has over 25 years’ international experience in corporate and business development, in the Energy (renewable and waste) and infrastructure sectors. Before joining Optimal Renewable Gas, Luca was a Director in the Specialised Asset & Finance team in Macquarie Group, responsible for the origination of deals in the renewable and waste sector, Luca will be responsible for developing renewable gas projects in ORG and securing major feedstock and off-takers for future projects.
”We are delighted to have Luca on board, ”said Optimal CEO Mr Craig Dugan. “Luca has a fantastic track record in renewables, having most recently worked with Macquarie bank in the renewable energy and waste asset finance area. His strong commercial and financing background will be key to our completing the necessary agreements to secure our business, and he will also strongly engage with future partners as we continue to develop our renewable gas portfolio. With ten plants to be construct, Luca will be a key driver of the Optimal Renewable Gas business,” added Mr Dugan.
The announcement also included a further expansion of Optimal’s renewable hydrogen business with Luca also being responsible for Optimal hydrogen markets. Luca will take on the role of Head of Hydrogen Business Development. “Our hydrogen business is growing rapidly,” said Mr Dugan. “Luca will take responsibility for strategic partnerships, business development and commercialisation of our hydrogen suite of solutions & products including ITM Power Electrolysers, Capstone Hydrogen Microturbines and Fuel Cells. As the hydrogen market in Australia rapidly develops it is vital Optimal provides our customers with the strongest possible commercial and technical support to get their projects underway. Luca’s experience in large scale renewable energy projects and green hydrogen technologies will ensure he is well placed to meet our customers’ needs in this exciting new business area,” added Mr Dugan.
In announcing the appointments, Optimal CEO, Craig Dugan said,” Renewable gas, whether it is biomethane or hydrogen, will be the key component for Australian industry reaching net zero. For many of our industrial customers, natural gas provides over 60% of their total energy needs needed for steam and process heat. For many the electrical grid simply does not have the capacity to replace this with electricity and hence renewable gas provides an immediate pathway to net zero. Mr Febbraio will be able to engage with our customers through this renewable gas supply chain to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our customers.”
Optimal Renewable Gas has a pipeline of additional projects in Victoria, NSW and Queensland it is seeking to develop to add to its biogas portfolio.
“Our aim is to have ten grid scale biogas projects with a mix of Biogas to grid and Biogas to LNG within ten years,” said Mr Dugan, “The secret to success in this field will be through speed and scale. Our customers are urgently seeking a solution to their thermal energy requirements and biogas offers them with a commercially and technically proven alternative which solving Australia’s need to divert putrescible was from landfill.”
Photo: Mr Luca Febbraio