In Egypt, the Egyptian Solid Waste Recycling Company (ECARU), Qalaa Holdings, and Axens, an IFP Group company, have signed an agreement to carry out technical and economic studies for second-generation ethanol and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production plant. In collaborating, the parties are bringing together their respective areas of expertise.
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Previously known as Citadel Capital, Qalaa Holdings is an African leader in energy and infrastructure with controlling interests in subsidiaries in industries including energy, mining, cement, agrifoods, transportation, logistics, printing, and packaging.
Qalaa Holdings’ strategy aims at providing practical solutions for cleaner energy resulting from converted biomass via the Egyptian Solid Waste Recycling Company (ECARU), one of the companies in which Qalaa Holdings has an investment stake.
Established in 1997, ECARU specializes in solid waste management, resource recovery facilities, and biomass recycling. It collects and processes about 500 000 tonnes of agricultural waste annually, and is also involved in projects outside of Egypt, including Libya, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Sudan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Malaysia.
ECARU is already producing a number of products from agricultural waste, such as high-quality organic fertilizers and alternative solid fuels for cement plants, thus reducing pollution by avoiding open-field burning.
Advanced ethanol-to-jet project
The proposed advanced biofuels project will be carried out in two phases, the first of which will be the production of advanced bioethanol while the second will be the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
ECARU is looking forward to starting the financial and technical study of the project, and actual production within three years, over two phases. The first phase shall involve the production of advanced bioethanol, while the second phase shall concern the production of sustainable aviation fuel. Such production is export-orientated to meet the growing needs of the global market, said Dr Hesham Sherif Chairman and Managing Director of ECARU.
France-headed chemical process technology provider Axens, an IFP Group company has been selected as the single licensor for the full set of technologies needed and will support ECARU and Qalaa Holdings for this project.
Starting from biomass to advanced bioethanol using its “Futurol” technology and then a further conversion from ethanol into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using its “Jetanol” ethanol-to-jet technology.
We are thrilled to support Qalaa Holdings and ECARU in their effort toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to what will be the first advanced bioethanol and SAF project in Egypt. I am proud that Futurol and Jetanol will be the technological keystone of this project, said Jean Sentenac President and CEO of Axens.
The project’s studies will take about seven months, noting that the company aims to export its production of second-generation biofuel, in line with Egypt’s strategy to maximize the use of various waste types and contribute to sustainability and waste recycling, thereby fostering economic growth.
We are so proud to launch this cooperation with Axens for the production of second-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass to promote global environmental sustainability, within the framework of our commitment to establishing high-value-added export-oriented projects. Qalaa is significantly increasing its investments in Egypt through the companies in which it invests by implementing high-value-added export-oriented projects. The timing now is ripe for such projects, said Dr Ahmed Heikal Chairman and Founder of Qalaa Holdings.