Oxford sustainable fuels company optimistic about future demand


It’s been a tough year for Velocys, the sustainable fuels technology company based on Oxford Science Park.

In its final audited results, the company revealed that while it raised £21 million last July, and secured an additional £500,000 grant from the Department of Transport for the Altato waste-t0-jet fuel project in Lincolnshire, its revenues were down to £200,000 from £300,000 the previous year but its operating loss was marginally lower than the previous year, at £8.8 million.

Last May Velocys was granted planning permission for Altalto Immingham – planned to be the UK’s first commercial waste-to-jet-fuel plant. In February the company announced that it had signed a collaboration agreement with Toyo Engineering Corporation  to begin development of commercial projects to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and other renewable fuels in Japan.

The proposed Altalto Immingham plant is to convert hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year of non-recyclable everyday household and commercial waste, otherwise destined for landfill or incineration, into cleaner burning sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It is expected to create 130 permanent skilled jobs and many more during construction.

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 almost 100 per cent reduction in sulphur oxides.

Henrik Wareborn, CEO of Velocys, said: Velocys overcame unprecedented circumstances in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic restricting international travel and compelling all of our colleagues to work from home except those involved in reactor manufacturing, laboratory and site safety work.

“Our team demonstrated resilience and agility in adapting to the new conditions and ensured Velocys delivered all our contracted services and technology hardware to our customers.

The successful fundraise in July 2020 enabled the Company to concentrate on client delivery from the second half of 2020 and onwards. In addition, we took the opportunity to further optimise the engineering for higher potential output and lower carbon intensity of our two reference projects in the UK and USA respectively.

We are in a favourable position to take advantage of the growing global demand for climate change mitigation technology, specifically the decarbonisation of commercial aviation. The Company remains capital light and cost disciplined with a focus on deploying our end-to-end technology solution via partners, site owners and third-party developers worldwide.”