Board of Directors

Mr Laurence Freedman AM

Non-Executive Chairman based in Sydney, Australia

Mr Freedman was appointed a Director of PET in October, 2010.

Mr Freedman has a long history of involvement and expertise in public companies with international trading and investment activities. He began his career with the Gold Fields Group: initially an analyst, he rose to Director of Group companies. He later joined BT Australia as Manager, Investments.

In 1980 he founded Equitilink Limited, an investment management group which he grew to a global company with operations around the world and over $3 billion under management. He held Chairman and/or Director positions in a number of public and private companies in Australia, the United States, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Taiwan.

He was a member of the syndicate which bought the Ten Network, of which he became a director, taking it out of receivership and helping to make it the most profitable media network in Australia for some years.

In 2000 he sold the Equitilink Group and in 2004 sold out of the Ten Group.

He currently manages his private investment portfolio of international shares, property and fixed income securities. He is a mentor to a number of resource, biotech and technology companies.

He is Chairman of The Freedman Foundation, a philanthropic foundation funded by the Freedman family, which assists and supports young Australians in many areas of endeavor. The Foundation also finances a broad range of medical and scientific programs and organizations.

In 2001 he was awarded The Order of Australia for service to the community, to medical research, the arts, and to business and investment in Australia.

Mr Freedman is Chairman of Phoslock Environmental Technologies’ Remuneration and Nomination committees and a member of the Audit Committee.

Mr Zhigang Zhang

Non-Executive Deputy Chairman based in Beijing, China.

Mr Zhang was appointed a Director of PET in June 2017.

Mr Zhang has worked in the water remediation and the water treatment industry in China and overseas for over 30 years and is internationally renowned.

Since 2014, Mr Zhang has been a Senior Manager of a subsidiary of BEWG (Beijing Enterprises Water Group Limited). Prior to his current role, he held Senior Management positions at a number of water remediation companies including: Standard Water Co., Ltd where he was an Executive Director and the CEO; China Water Holdings Limited (Singapore) where he held the position of Chairman and General Manager; Beijing Herocan Environmental Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. where he was the Chairman and General Manager; and was the Chief Engineer and General Manager of Beijing Bi-Leaf Environmental Engineering Company.

Mr Robert Schuitema

Managing Director


Mr Schuitema was appointed a Director of PET in April 2005, and shortly thereafter assumed the role of Executive Chairman. In January 2007, he took over the role of fulltime Managing Director, and at the same time stepped down as Chairman.

Mr Schuitema brings to PET a wide range of business and commercial skills. In addition to the day to day responsibilities of running PET businesses globally, he is responsible for investor relations, stock exchange listing and capital raisings. Mr Schuitema is also a Director of PET’s Joint Venture manufacturing company in China, IETC.

Mr Schuitema is a former Managing Director of investment bank Chase Manhattan Bank and later JPMorgan Chase where he was global co-head of the Mining & Metals group and responsible for the Asia-Pacific region and also had extensive involvement in the bank's southern Africa business. He has extensive experience in a range of investment banking disciplines including equity issues, project finance for standalone projects, US$ bond issues, trade finance, acquisition finance and mergers & acquisition advise. During his investment banking career, he was involved in either advising companies or raising debt for over 50 separate Mining & Metals and Oil & Gas projects with a value in excess of US$30 billion.

Mr Schuitema is a member of Phoslock Environmental Technologies’ Nomination committee and secretary of the Audit and Remuneration committees. 

Mrs Brenda Shanahan

Non-Executive Director based in Melbourne, Australia

Mrs. Brenda Shanahan is a Graduate of Melbourne University in Economics and Commerce and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. She has a research background in finance in Australian and overseas economies and share markets. Previously, she held executive positions included Managing Director of W M Mercer Investment Consulting for Australia and Asia and a member of their international board.

Mrs. Shanahan is a former Director of Equitilink Limited and former non-executive director of Australian Stock Exchange Listed Challenger Financial Services as an independent non-executive director of Challenger Limited, where she is a member of the group Risk Committee, Group Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee and Nomination Committee.

She is also a director of Bell Financial Group Ltd, Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Ltd, DMP Asset Management Ltd, St Vincent's Medical Research Institute in Melbourne Foundation and the Chair of the Aitkenhead Centre for Medical Discovery. Recently she was bestowed with an honorary Doctorate from Swinburne University of Technology.

Mr Ningping Ma

Non-Executive Director based in Beijing, China

Mr Ningping Ma has more than 25 years of practical experience in the environmental industry.

Mr Ma started his career as technical engineer in Beijing Chaoyang Environmental Protection Bureau. He was one of the founders of Beijing Herocan Environmental Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. In 1998, as Deputy General Manager he was responsible for the day-to-day management of the company. Mr Ma was part of the senior management team that transformed the company from a team of 4 people to over 1,000 employees with offices in China, Hong Kong and Singapore and assets worth more than $500 million.

Beijing Herocan provides integrated water solutions and services. The company has over 50 patents in the environmental industry and gained the awards “China Industry-University-Research Institute Collaboration Innovation Achievement Award” and “China Industry-University-Research Institute Collaboration Innovation Award” from the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China.

In 2010, as one of the senior executives, Mr Ma successfully signed a strategic partnership agreement with a Hong Kong fund manager and CCB International for USD110 million equity financing and project loans.

In 2013, Mr Ma led Standard Water Co., Ltd. to successfully complete a strategic restructuring and signed an equity merger and acquisition cooperation agreement with Beijing Enterprises Water Group (BEWG). In April 2014, as one of the major shareholders, Mr Ma signed an agreement with BEWG to setup a joint venture company and acts as an Executive Director and Deputy General Manager.