Board Changes

Hydrogen Utopia International PLC
21 August 2023



 21 August 2023

Hydrogen Utopia International PLC

 (the "Company" or "HUI")


Board Changes


Hydrogen Utopia International PLC, a company specialising in turning non-recyclable mixed waste plastic into hydrogen and other carbon-free fuels, new materials or distributed renewable heat, is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Francis Mann as non-executive Chairman of the Company with immediate effect. Guy Peters, who was executive Chairman of the Company, remains an executive Director of the Board

Simon Francis Mann has over 10 years of military experience with the British Army and a further 10 years as a contractor with different Private Military Companies ("PMC").

Simon joined the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 1970 and was commissioned into the Scots Guards in 1972. From 1978 - 1981, Simon was an officer in the Special Air Service. Simon has served in a variety of deployments during his time with the British Army including in Germany, Norway, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and the Middle East. Simon left the British Army with qualifications in programming and systems analysis & design.

Simon's key PMC assignments took place between 1992 - 1998 and were in Angola and Sierra Leone. In Angola, Simon worked with a South African PMC, known as Executive Outcomes ("Executive Outcomes") and hired by the Angolan government to defeat l'Unione Nazionale per l'Indipendenza Totale dell' Angola ("UNITA"). Simon played a key role in the Battle of Soyo, in which Executive Outcomes defeated UNITA and recaptured the offshore oil industry operating base of Soyo. It was Simon who initially won the Angola contract for Executive Outcomes. Thereafter, he was the key salesman for the contracts which followed.

In Sierra Leone, Simon was involved in the civil war between the Sierra Leone Government and the Revolutionary United Front ("RUF"). Simon again worked with Executive Outcomes and a UK PMC, known as Sandline International and hired by the Sierra Leone Government to help defeat the RUF. Simon was instrumental in the defence of Freetown, when the RUF were pushed back from the capital city.

From the 80s onwards, on occasion and predominantly in the oil and mining sector, Simon applied his military skills to corporate roles and consultancy assignments. A key achievement was the roll out of a large investment programme for a Canadian diamond mining company - DiamondWorks Ltd - for the restoration of closed mines and the building of new ones in Angola and Sierra Leone in the mid to late 90s. In 2013, Simon led a defense and security audit and report for the Somaliland government. This followed the withdrawal of a large UK company quoted on the UK stock exchange which had declared force majeure and then precipitously withdrawn from their oil exploration programme and commitments in Somaliland.

Simon also has experience with fundraising for start-ups. In the 80s, Simon was involved in raising funds for 2 UK companies Simon co-founded. The companies were involved in the sale of microcomputers to the security and defense industry and in security consultancy, respectively.

The Company also announces that it has granted options over 2 million ordinary shares of the Company to Simon under the terms of the Company's share option scheme. The options have an exercise price of £0.05 per share and will vest over a period of 2 years.

The Board is confident that Simon Francis Mann's leadership, resilience, communication, and teamwork skills gained in the military and applied to corporate roles at large, small and start-up companies in different industries will make him a valuable addition to the Board.

Aleksandra Binkowska, CEO, commented: "I believe I am fighting a war. A war against plastic waste which is venomous to our planet and a war against latency and inefficiency. I have promised our shareholders who believe in HUI and its technology to win this battle and I'm intending to do what it takes to deliver. With Simon Mann's contacts and willpower, I believe doors will open in places I could have never accessed myself. His energy and determination for HUI's mission are striking." 

Simon Francis Mann, Chairman, commented: "Turning plastic waste into hydrogen has to be the most useful business sector in which I could apply my energy and ability. HUI are at the forefront of their sector, and I am very excited by the future prospects of the company. Having had experience in the extractive industries of mining and oil and gas it may seem surprising that I am now turned green. However, what HUI is about is part of that same cycle: waste plastics - with which the world is awash - come from oil in the first place, while HUI turns that waste plastic back into usable fuel."


The following information is disclosed in accordance with Listing Rule 9.6.13:

Simon Francis Mann does not currently hold nor has Simon Francis Mann held any directorships in a publicly quoted company in the past five years.

Simon Francis Mann served four out of a five-year sentence in Zimbabwe and less than two out of a thirty four year sentence in Equatorial Guinea for his involvement in a failed coup d'Etat in 2004. He received a presidential pardon from President Obiang, of Equatorial Guinea, in November 2009.

HUI confirms that there is no further information to be disclosed under the requirements of Listing Rule 9.6.13 in relation to the appointment of Simon Francis Mann.


For further information, please contact: 


Hydrogen Utopia International PLC

Aleksandra Binkowska           

+44 20 3811 8770     


Alfred Henry Corporate Finance Limited (LSE Corporate Adviser)

Nick Michaels/Maya Klein Wassink                                                  

+44 20 3772 0021


Novum Securities Limited (Broker)                                                                    

Jon Belliss/Colin Rowbury                              

+44 20 7399 9400


About Hydrogen Utopia International PLC

HUI aims to become one of the leading new European companies specialising in turning non-recyclable mixed waste plastic into hydrogen and other carbon-free fuels, new materials or distributed renewable heat.

A HUI facility uses non-recyclable mixed waste plastic as feedstock and turns it into syngas from which new products and energy can be produced. HUI anticipates that its revenues will be derived from a variety of sources, dependent upon location and configuration of the HUI facilities, including the sale of syngas, hydrogen and other gases, electricity and heat sales, and the payment to it of fees for a given quantity of non-recyclable mixed waste plastic received at a HUI facility.

HUI will target areas where there is significant private sector interest or potential, financial backing is accessible and or where substantial EU and/or government funded sources of grants and loans are or may be available. The global increase in fossil fuel-based energy prices reinforces the need for alternative, price competitive energy sources, which HUI's business model can provide.

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