UAE to lead bio-fuel technologies in the Gulf countries
Petrixo Oil & Gas (Petrixo) from Dubai and a consortium made of Etihad Airways (Etihad), Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer) and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology from Abu Dhabi multiply initiatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to take the lead of the bio-fuel technologies in the Middle-East region.
In January 2014, Etihad, Takreer and Masdar supported by the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing and the French Total major companies, performed a 45 minutes flight with a Boeing 777 powered by local bio-jet fuel.
The purpose of this exercise was to highlight the local capability of the key players along the whole supply chain to grow raw materials and refine them in the UAE in order to meet the qualifications required for aviation jet fuel.
The bio-oil was produced from a selection of salt-tolerant plants that can grow up in the UAE.
This initiative is part of Masdar-led Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium innovation program.
Through this program, Masdar, Boeing, Etihad, Takreer and Total are researching the most prolific plants and optimized bio-technologies to grow them up in the Middle-East environment to produce aviation quality bio-fuel.
For the local Authorities in the UAE, the goal is run all their fleets with bio-fuel in reducing by 50% the carbon dioxide emission along the whole cycle compared with conventional fossil fuel.
In long term, Abu Dhabi is preparing the transition of its economy for the after fossil fuel era.
Petrixo to invest $800 million in Fujairah bio-fuel refinery
In Dubai where the oil and gas resources are limited, the opportunity to develop bio-fuel technologies is a short term target with immediate benefits.
In this perspective Petrixo project to build the first bio-fuel dedicated refinery in the Middle-East is a major step forward.
Using canola, corn, soybean and sunflower as raw materials Petrixo is planning to build a refinery with a capacity of 20,000 barrels per day (b/d), equivalent to 1 million tonnes per year (t/y), of green fuel.
Petrixo Refinery should produce a large range of bio-fuels including:
– Bio-jet fuel
In order to develop its bio-fuel refinery project, Petrixo selected the Free Zone and Port of Fujairah in the north of the UAE.
Requiring $800 million capital expenditure, this bio-fuel refinery should cover 640,000 square meters in Fujairah.
In the meantime that UAE becomes self-sufficient in producing the raw materials as feedstock of bio-fuel refinery, Petrixo will have the opportunity to supply the green oil from the global market.
Petrixo completed the pre-feasibility study and selected the technologies to support engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase of the Fujairah bio-fuel refinery, the first of that kind in the Middle-East.