International renewable jet fuel value chain integrators join forces to develop feedstocks and commercial opportunities
Mitch Hawkins (left) and Dr Christoph Weber, CEOs of BioJet and JATRO
Mon 1 Oct 2012 – Two jet biofuel companies, JATRO and BioJet, have announced a collaboration agreement on feedstock development and commercialisation efforts. The strategic alliance is intended to create a mutually beneficial business operation across global markets to drive the commercialisation of sustainable plant oil and biokerosene production. Having originally started as an aviation biofuel jatropha feedstock developer, JATRO’s activities now span the whole biofuel value chain, from the breeding and selection of suitable feedstock through refining, logistics, sustainability certification to end use by the aviation sector worldwide. BioJet too spans the entire biofuel chain and its operations span 10 countries. In January, BioJet signed an agreement with native American tribes concerning feedstock generation and refining operations to provide biofuels for airlines and ground transportation in the western United States.
The purpose of the Frankfurt-based JATRO and California-based BioJet collaboration, they say, is to seek competitive advantages and commercial opportunities for each company. They intend to complement each other’s activities in areas such as feedstock development and supply; crushing and refining technology solutions; network integration; logistics and funding efforts; and marketing. By working together, the two companies also expect to achieve operational efficiencies, facilitate financing and investment and increase the ability to secure reliable supplies of multiple and geographically diverse sources of biofeedstocks.
JATRO, which claims to having been instrumental in providing sustainable feedstock for the series that finished earlier this year of 1,200 commercial biofuel flights operated by Lufthansa, have plantation sites in Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Laos. Suitable plots have also been secured for full integration in Madagascar, Tanzania, Ghana, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and Brazil.
Last year, BioJet received a funding facility of $1.2 billion. It describes its business alliance with the Native American Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) as possibly the world’s largest biofuel/bioenergy project. CERT represents 57 sovereign Indian tribes that manage millions of acres of agricultural lands on which feedstocks may be grown. Last month, Tartoosh Environmental, an American Indian-owned company, was added to the 10-15 year ‘Thunderbird’ project, which has a potential value of $3 billion.
Over 750,000 acres of land will be used to provide biofuel feedstock and co-products, as well as alternative fuel feedstocks such as natural gas. The project expects to refine and convert feedstocks to around 250 million gallons annually of renewable jet fuel and diesel and about 300 million gallons of synthetic jet or diesel fuel, which would require 10 biorefinery plants.