Client News

Byogy Seeking Funds to Bring Clean Jet Fuel to Market

November 29, 2011

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Byogy Renewables Inc., a San Jose, California-based maker of clean jet fuel from alcohol, plans to raise as much as $30 million from private equity and strategic investors by mid-2012, its chief executive officer said.

Byogy will use the funds to further commercialize its fuel and provide enough for testing by the U.S. technical standards body ASTM International, Kevin Weiss said by phone. Airlines are not allowed to fly passenger planes using fuel made from alcohols until the ASTM has granted approval.

“The main goal at the moment is certification of the alcohol to jet fuel process,” Weiss said. “There are several steps through the ASTM process and at each point you generate more data and are required to boost the volume of fuel for the various testing requirements.” Approval is expected in 2013.

The International Air Transport Association, which estimates the aviation industry accounts for 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, set a target in 2007 to eliminate these emissions from air travel by 2050.

Airlines on July 1 won approval from ASTM to blend fuel made from inedible plants and organic waste with traditional kerosene-based jet fuel. Since approval, Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA), Finnair Oyj (FIA1S) and Air France-KLM Group have flown planes using the fuel.

‘Major Airport Hubs’

Byogy has a “very strong” strategic partnership with Qatar Airways Ltd., Weiss said.

“Our commercialization strategy with Qatar is to develop a non-competitive global supply chain to provide clean jet fuel to major airport hubs,” he said. This could include building biofuel production facilities in the coming years.

The company doesn’t make the alcohol and instead plans to form partnerships with sugar and ethanol producers, Weiss said. It’s in discussions with several of the largest suppliers.

The cost of Byogy’s fuel will be comparable to oil-derived kerosene within five years, without subsidies, he said. Moreover, unlike the alternative fuels currently approved, it can be used by itself and doesn’t need blending with kerosene.

“Due to the enormous global demand and our ability to produce a true replacement fuel at a fraction of the cost of other processes, we know we will be able to sell every drop of our fuel,” the chief executive said.

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