The Energy Division is of enduring importance to us. It is essential for the DS Group as energy will continue to keep us mobile and warm as we move forward. The DS Group companies have been a reliable partner for commercial customers and private households since the 1920s. We started off as a regional dealer in Bremen. Over time we evolved into a wholesaler, a tank farm and petrol station operator and a reliable supplier for final consumers both inside and outside Germany. We have achieved this growth by expanding our existing business and making targeted strategic investments in promising companies. We have invested courageously and grown organically. We do not pursue short-term tactics but view ourselves as long-term partners providing strategic, financial and commercial services for our subsidiaries. We would like to explain here how we do this and what we stand for.
Petroleum trade: a century of experience
Our trade in mineral oil products is one of the largest and most important pillars of our activities. In the course of one century, we have continued to optimise our experience in trade and our logistics. We now know exactly how individual the customers in our industry are and are able to react routinely to special wishes and requirements. DS-Mineralöl provides energy in many forms: fuel oil, biodiesel, diesel fuel, wood pellets or AdBlue® – all certified according to the corresponding DIN standards or individualised in accordance with the customer’s requirements.
Stable and continuous activities in the fuel market – looking to the future
Our activities as a petroleum wholesaler go back to a strategic decision made by the company and its shareholders. We do not copy trends, but observe the market with Hanseatic composure. Petroleum is not without alternatives. Although we see great opportunities in e-fuels, petroleum will remain indispensable for ensuring economically viable and sufficient mobility for at least another 20 years. Our experts’ observations repeatedly show that many industries will continue to require energy from traditional fuels for a long time to come. That is why we will remain a reliable and strong wholesale partner.
We are thinking about the next technical and human generation – and the role that we will be playing in the future
Nobody can say for sure what the market will look like in 50 years and what power train technologies are still to come. But our goal is clear: we want to be a strong partner in the field of energy for future generations. That’s why we think in terms of generations rather than quarters. With our existing infrastructure, we are and will remain a supplier and service provider.
We are looking for attractive opportunities to strategically expand in the areas of hydrogen, biomass and E-fuels.
Here, as well, we are already analysing whether and when we can establish or plan economically viable supply chain structures. This may entail new storage capacities as well as new discharge points, distribution paths and expertise.
Our activities in renewable energies
Via NewEn Projects GmbH we ahave been positioning ourselves since the 1990s in the area of renewable energies with a steady hand and very methodically. We will be considering the situation very closely before deciding whether to step up our activities in this area in the near future by committing venture capital. We will be weighing up these questions carefully together with our existing Group companies to determine whether it is a good strategic fit for our portfolio.
Our shareholdings DS-Mineralöl, Leu Energie, Lanfer Energie and Kreuzmayr also rely on wood pellets as a new fuel. Wood pellets consist largely of sawdust and wood residues. Sawdust and supposedly inferior parts of the tree trunk used to be the waste products of many wood factories. Today, the wood pellets obtained from them are a CO2-neutral heating option for which we see a growing market in the future. If you want to learn more about wood pellets, visit the website of DS-Mineralöl and the Leu Group.
Our storage tanks: availability and capacity for future growth
Through our subsidiary WESER-PETROL Seehafentanklager GmbH & Co. KG we operate a total of six storage tanks at three locations for petroleum products and biofuels. We have a total of 372,000 cubic meters of tank space at coastal locations, which we use for strategic stockpiling and for wholesale and import trade.
We have positioned our tank terminals strategically at the ports of Bremen, Greifswald and Nordenham on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and plan to selectively expand our infrastructure to establish an even larger distribution and logistics network. We use our tank farms as storage capacities for our own subsidiaries but also offer this tank space for use by our partners.
Via DS card + drive GmbH, the DS Group is gaining valuable market share in the segment of automatic filling stations. The unmanned card filling stations operated by DS card + drive GmbH are now the main offtakers in our wholesale diesel business. We offer various type of diesel fuel and AdBlue® for trucks. This is a particularly encouraging development as it offers our wholesalers considerable sales opportunities. Thanks to the fuel card issued by tankpool24, the card filling stations are uncomplicated and quick to operate.
Our final customer business: closer to the consumer, more stable in the market place, broader-based in the future.
In business with final customers, DS-Gruppe primarily targets three different groups:
Private households: electricity, heating oil, natural gas and wood pellets
Agriculture: diesel fuels
Independent filling stations: diesel fuels and petrol
In the interests of forward integration, we are moving ever closer to the end user. This is because we want to make retail business an even broader pillar of our business activities in order to achieve greater independence from the volatility of wholesale business. This is being done via four of our more recent equity investments: Leu Energie, Lanfer Energie, Kreuzmayr in Bayern and LANDS GmbH. These four companies in turn operate filling stations and engage in various types of retail business. At the same time, they can always rely on our wholesale business and infrastructure.
Whenever we see a gap, we fill it by incorporating a company of our own.
With Lands GmbH, we are carrying the enthusiasm and vigour of our founder Otto Diersch into the future. The joint venture will be monitoring the market for classic filling stations and seeking growth in this segment. Many filling stations that are available for sale on the market can be returned to commercially viable operation and developed thanks to the synergistic effects provided by our Group companies. We see great potential for organic and strategic growth in retail filling stations.
Leu Energie, Lanfer Energie and Kreuzmayr are all committed to wood pellets as a new type of fuel. Wood pellets largely consist of sawdust and wood residues. Sawdust and what were once believed to be the inferior parts of the tree trunk used to be seen as waste by many timber factories. Today, they are used to make wood pellets, which are a carbon-neutral source of heating for which we see a growing future market. If you would like to learn more about wood pellets, please visit the Leu Group website.
Competitiveness and continuous improvement
The value chain of the DS Group and its subsidiaries is moving ever closer to the end user – away from storage and towards the retail filling station. This often results in synergistic benefits. Nevertheless, we do not impose on our subsidiaries any obligation to generate business within the DS Group come what may. Consequently, our subsidiaries do not necessarily have to source product for their retail business from our own wholesalers if they can secure better terms elsewhere. That’s how we avoid inertia. None of our subsidiaries should rest on their laurels in terms of prices and conditions.
„We face the competition with confidence – and see it as an incentive for jointly improving the way we do things. We have been demonstrating for decades that we know what we are capable of.“
Maximilian Brockmann, Head of Trade DS-Mineralöl
Reliable and flexible logistics networks are one of the DS Group’s many strengths
The availability of our products thanks to good logistics is a key factor in our continued success. This applies to both wholesale and retail fuel business. Being able to deliver the right quantity in the right place at the right time is one of our top priorities. This is because a lot depends on our fuels: a warm home, order execution at the container port and a fully operational tractor.
Almost a century of experience in transport and good partners pay off. In recent years in particular, we have been investing a great deal in our own capacities to additionally improve our logistic capabilities.
A holding company of different identities and common goals
We are expanding our group together with all our subsidiaries and plan new strategic acquisitions. In turn, we support our subsidiaries in their growth endeavours. We do this, for example, by selling our petroleum to them on the best possible preferential terms or by allowing them to use our fuel storage capacities. We also keep our subsidiaries’ backs free financially and through the provision of services, allowing them to concentrate on their core business.
Standardisation often yields greater efficiency. This benefits the IT infrastructure, accounting and some administrative processes. We also find an optimum solution for compliance in our joint activities with our business partners. Working together means sharing knowledge, providing each other with assistance and operating on an equal footing in joint competition rather than finding the lowest common denominator.