ECARU, Qalaa Holdings and Axens to Carry Out Technical and Economic studies for a Project of Second-Generation Biofuel (Advanced Bioethanol) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Production

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Within the framework of their strategy to provide practical solutions for cleaner energy, ECARU (Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling), Qalaa Holdings, and Axens, on July 17, 2023, signed a cooperation protocol in the presence of H.E. French ambassador to Egypt Marc Barety, to carry out technical and economic studies for a project of second-generation biofuel (advanced bioethanol) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production.

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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 at providing 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 sustainable aviation fuel (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. 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.
Ahmed Heikal
Chairman and Founder of Qalaa Holdings
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.
Hesham Sherif
Chairman and Managing Director of ECARU
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 key stone of this project.
Jean Sentenac
President and Chief Executive Officer of Axens


About Qalaa Holdings

Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is an African leader in energy and infrastructure. Qalaa Holdings builds responsible and sustainable businesses that add value to the economies and societies in which it does business. Formerly known as Citadel Capital, Qalaa Holdings controls subsidiaries in industries including Energy, Cement, Agrifoods, Transportation & Logistics, Mining and Printing & Packaging.

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The Egyptian Solid Waste Recycling Company (ECARU) is an Egyptian company specialized in solid waste management, resource recovery facilities, biomass recycling and solid waste. The company was established in 1997 and is an Egyptian investment company. The company collects and processes about 500,000 tons of agricultural waste annually. The company has projects in Egypt, Libya, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Sudan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Malaysia.

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About Axens

Axens group provides a complete range of solutions for the conversion of oil and biomass to cleaner fuels, the production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates, the chemical recycling of plastics, all natural gas treatment and conversion options along with water treatment and carbon capture. The offer includes technologies, equipment, furnaces, modular units, catalysts, adsorbents and related services. Axens is ideally positioned to cover the entire value chain, from feasibility study to unit start-up and follow-up throughout the entire unit life cycle. This unique position ensures the highest level of performance with a reduced environmental footprint. Axens global offer is based on highly trained human resources, modern production facilities and an extended global network for industrial, technical supports & commercial services.

Axens is an IFP Group company.

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