Oxford Catalysts partners SGCE

Oxford Catalysts, a developer of specialty catalysts, has signed an agreement with SGC Energia, SGPS for the joint commercialisation of its Fischer-Tropsch technology.


Oxford Catalysts, a developer of specialty catalysts, has signed an agreement with SGC Energia, SGPS (SGCE) for the joint commercialisation of its Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology.



SGCE acts as the holding company for the renewable energy investment arm of Portuguese businessman, João Pereira Coutinho. The group has been working with Oxford Catalysts’ US subsidiary, Velocys, since 2007 under a memorandum of understanding.



The agreement formalises this partnership and is expected to provide a further $5.9m (£3.6m) of funding for development of the FT technology by the end of 2010. SGCE will have lead responsibility for commercialising the technology in biomass-to-liquid, waste-to-liquid and coal-to-liquid applications.



Roy Lipski, chief executive of Oxford Catalysts, said: ‘We are pleased to have successfully progressed our relationship with SGCE. The Joint Development Agreement (JDA) is a strong endorsement of our technology and is illustrative of our commercialisation strategy in action, whilst also delivering a material financial contribution to the group.’



Vianney Vales, chief executive of SGCE, added: ‘SGCE is fully committed to the production of clean fuels and is deploying substantial resources in this market. We are confident that the Velocys technology provides an important competitive advantage in this area, and that through our partnership with them we will secure a leading position in the production of clean next-generation synthetic fuels.’



The agreement will contribute towards the costs incurred for the FT demonstration unit, which is now ready for shipping, in addition to all the expenses associated with the extended demonstration run planned to take place in Güssing, Austria.



According to Oxford Catalysts, Güssing is the best location globally for demonstrating bio-conversion technologies due to its commercial-scale biomass gasifier, which has been operational since 2005.



The demonstration equipment is due to be shipped to Güssing in December and commissioned early next year. Once operational, it will have a capacity of approximately 10,000 gallons per year and will operate on gasified wood chips.



Following a six-month demonstration period, the equipment will be relocated to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, where it will be evaluated for the production of synthetic jet fuel.