Oxford fuel tech secures further £500K for waste-to-fuels project

Velocys Altalto Immingham

Velocys plc the Oxford Science Park-based sustainable fuels technology company, has secured a further £0.5m of grant funding for its Altalto waste-to-fuels project from the Department for Transport (DfT), under the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C).

The proposed Altalto Immingham in Lincolnshire, plant is planned to convert hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year of residual waste into sustainable fuels, mainly aviation fuel.

The fuel, based on technology supplied by Velocys, offers net greenhouse gas savings of around 70 per cent for each tonne of conventional jet fuel it displaces. It would also improve air quality, with up to 90 per cent reduction in particulate matter (soot) from aircraft engine exhausts and an almost total reduction in sulphur oxides.

Subject to additional funding and financial close, construction is targeted to begin in 2022, and the facility could be producing fuel from 2025.

The F4C was launched in 2017 by the Department for Transport (DfT) to promote the development of an advanced low carbon fuels industry within the UK, including supplier capabilities and skills in relevant technologies, while maximising value for money for the taxpayer.

The F4C is providing up to £20 million in capital grant funding over 3 years (2019-21). Through the scheme, DfT aims to increase domestic production of advanced low carbon fuels capable of tackling emissions from the hard-to-decarbonise aviation and HGV sectors in pursuit of long-term UK decarbonisation targets. In 2018, the F4C provided up to £2 million of Project Development Funding for Stage 1 to support the development of proposals.

Velocys was awarded a grant of £0.4m in Stage One of the F4C in 2018, and was shortlisted to receive an award in Stage Two.

The DfT has now made £0.5m of the Stage Two grant available to Velocys – one of the two remaining companies expected to receive the balance of funding in Stage Two, subject to completion of future project milestones.

Last month Velocys announced that it has secured a further £1m funding for the project from British Airways PLC and Shell International Petroleum Company Limited. This £1m will be payable before 30th June 2020.

Henrik Wareborn, Velocys CEO, said:“We are very pleased to have the continued support of the Department for Transport for this project. The Altalto project is a key step towards a substantial supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in the UK, which is essential for meeting net zero carbon targets. This grant, particularly at the present time, underlines the importance of our project to the Government’s plans for a green recovery.”