Algae.Tec Limited, a company that started in 2007 with an office in Perth and another in Atlanta, Georgia, yesterday signed a “collaboration agreement” with Lufthansa to construct a large-scale algae-to-aviation biofuels production facility.
Algae.Tec makes high-grade aviation biofuels from algae.
The new production site will be in Europe at an undisclosed site “adjacent to an industrial CO2 source”. Lufthansa will arrange 100% funding for the project. Algae.Tec will receive licence fees and profits from the project, which will be managed by Algae.Tec.
As part of the Agreement, Lufthansa commits to a long-term offtake agreement of at least 50% of the crude oil produced at an agreed price. The agreement forms the base for a long-term co-operation between Algae.Tec and Lufthansa for the industrial production of crude algae suitable for conversion into aviation kerosene and conventional diesel fuels.
Sourcing sustainable aviation biofuels was a major theme at this year’s ILA Berlin Airshow, which finished at the weekend. The show’s dedicated Alternative Aviation Fuels Pavilion showcased the latest biofuel developments and innovations. Experts at the show said biofuels for jet aircraft could be commercially viable – and available in volume – from 2014.
If so, it could be the start of making air travel a greener process. Aviation biofuel is widely considered by the aviation industry to be one of the primary means by which the industry can reduce its carbon footprint.
Aviation’s share of the greenhouse gas emissions is set to grow as air travel increases and ground vehicles use more alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. Aviation currently represents about 2% of global emissions, but is expected to grow to about 3% by 2050. Aviation biofuel may help reduce that.
Last month Algae.Tec launched Australia’s first advanced engineered algae-to-biofuels facility Shoalhaven One at Nowra, New South Wales. The NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Chris Hartcher, officially opened the facility.
The new agreement between Algae.Tec and Lufthansa states:
“Both parties will jointly develop a large-scale industrial algae oil production plant based on Algae.Tec’s technology and operating support, and Lufthansa’s offtake commitment for such algae oils.”
Algae oil produced by the Project shall fulfill at all times the EU Renewable Energy Directive (“EU-RED”) and shall be certified according to ISCC –Standard.
This agreement builds on and supersedes the memorandum of understanding signed between the two parties in January 2012. It is subject to final board approval of both parties and the final sign off for the algae oil conversion into aviation kerosene. A final feasibility report will be completed once the first site has been selected.
Written by Peter Needham