Oxford Catalysts in $5.9M Fischer-Tropsch Demonstration and Commercialization Agreement; Focus on Biomass- and Waste-to-Liquids Applications
Oxford Catalysts Group PLC, signed a definitive joint development agreement (JDA) with SGC Energia, SGPS, S.A. (SGCE) for the demonstration and commercialization of the Group’s Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology, primarily for Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL) and Waste-to-Liquids (WTL) applications. Oxford Catalysts has a platform catalyst technology that provides the increased activity in microchannel reactors. (Earlier post.)
Oxford Catalysts’ US subsidiary, Velocys, Inc. and SGCE have been working together since 2007 under a memorandum of understanding. The recently signed JDA formalizes the commercial relationship between the parties and provides $5.9 million of further funding directly to the Group over the balance of 2009 and 2010.
The demonstration plant, which will have a capacity of approximately 10,000 gallons/year, will be operated on gasified wood chips. Under the terms of the JDA, SGCE will have lead responsibility for commercializing the Group’s FT technology for BTL, WTL and Coal-to-Liquids applications. The JDA also provides for commercial involvement by one of SGCE’s partners, a very large industrial multinational.
In addition to other Group expenses, the JDA will contribute towards the costs incurred for the FT demonstration unit, now ready for shipping, as well as covering all the expenses associated with the extended demonstration run, planned to take place in Güssing, Austria. Güssing is a prime location for demonstrating bio-conversion technologies such as BTL, as it has a commercial-scale biomass gasifier (using wood chips as feedstock), operational since 2005, that supplies supports a power station with an output of 4.5 MW heat and 2 MW electricity for domestic and industrial customers. The biomass gasifier at this facility will also be used to supply synthesis gas for conversion to fuels via the Group’s FT demonstration unit.
The demonstration equipment is due to be received in Güssing in December; commissioned and started up in the first quarter of 2010; and thereafter operated for some six months. Following demonstration, the equipment will be relocated to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, USA where it will be evaluated for the production of synthetic jet fuel.
SGCE is a holding company that acts as the renewable energy investment arm of João Pereira Coutinho, one of Portugal’s most successful businessmen. It is owned by Mr Coutinho and his SGC Group; the latter is active in 13 countries and has an annual turnover of €1 billion (see notes to editors).