Roy Lipski, chief executive of UK gas-to-liquid technology company Velocys, has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations of serious misconduct.
Lipski has been head of Velocys, which operates in the US and the UK, since 2008 and has raised over $215m (£138m) from institutional investors since 2006.
Velocys, which is majority owned by Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, builds modular plants that convert natural gas or biomass into liquid products such as diesel and jet fuel. This smaller scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) process serves to make stranded or flared gas economically viable.
Abramovich’s Ervington Investments vehicle has been buying up shares in Velocys for almost two years, and his stake in the company has reached approximately 21 per cent.
The company said Lipski’s suspension is “not a disciplinary action and does not imply any assumption that he is guilty of any of the allegations of serious misconduct.”
The firm added that the suspension will be “no longer than is reasonably necessary” and stressed that the allegations “do not involve any elements of fraud or financial impropriety”.
Velocys’ finance chief, Susan Robertson, will act as interim chief executive during Lipski’s suspension.
Shares in the Aim-listed company closed down by 19.35 per cent yesterday, at 92.75p.