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  • Qalaa Holdings

3 companies collaborate to develop Egypt’s 1st alcohol-to-jet SAF project


Photo: Qalaa Holdings

Within the framework of their strategy to provide practical solutions for cleaner energy, the Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling (ECARU), Qalaa Holdings and Axens signed a cooperation protocol July 17 in the presence of Marc Barety, the French ambassador to Egypt, to carry out technical and economic studies for a project to manufacture second-generation ethanol and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).



In collaborating, the parties are bringing together their respective areas of expertise:


  • Qalaa Holdings is a leader in energy and infrastructure investments and exerts all efforts to produce cleaner energy and alternative fuels. This comes in accordance with Egypt’s strategy to develop renewable/low-carbon fuels and contribute to achieving sustainability and recycling various wastes in order to achieve economic growth. Qalaa Holdings’ strategy aims to provide practical solutions for cleaner energy resulting from converted biomass via ECARU, one of the companies in which Qalaa Holdings invests.


  • ECARU is already producing a number of products from agricultural waste, such as high-quality organic fertilizers and alternative solid fuel for cement factories (BDF), in line with Egypt’s efforts to preserve the environment and mitigate climate change. Over the past 15 years, it contributed in the disposal and recycling for further use of 3.5 million tons of agricultural waste, thus reducing pollution by avoiding open burning.


  • Axens is a French licensing company that licenses various processes in the field of renewable/low-carbon fuels. Starting from biomass to advanced bioethanol (Futurol®,) and then a further conversion into SAF (Jetanol™), Axens is the single licensor for the full set of technologies and will support ECARU and Qalaa Holdings for this project.



The project will be carried out in two phases, the first of which will be the production of advanced bioethanol while the second will be the production of SAF.



The project’s studies will take about seven months, noting that the company aims to export its production of second-generation biofuel, in line with Egypt’s strategy to maximize the use of various waste types and contribute to sustainability and waste recycling, thereby fostering economic growth.

“We are so proud to launch this cooperation with Axens for the production of second-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass to promote global environmental sustainability, within the framework of our commitment to establishing high value-added export-oriented projects,” said Ahmed Heikal, chairman and founder of Qalaa Holdings. “Qalaa is significantly increasing its investments in Egypt through the companies in which it invests by implementing high value-added export-oriented projects. The timing now is ripe for such projects.”


Hesham Sherif, chairman and managing director of ECARU, added, “ECARU is looking forward to starting the financial and technical study of the project, and actual production within three years, over two phases. The first phase shall involve the production of advanced bioethanol, while the second phase shall concern the production of sustainable aviation fuel. Such production is export-orientated to meet the growing needs of the global market.”



Jean Sentenac, president and CEO of Axens, said, “We are thrilled to support Qalaa Holdings and ECARU in their effort toward reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, thanks to what will be the first advanced bioethanol and SAF project in Egypt. I am proud that Futurol and Jetanol will be the technological keystone of this project.”

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