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Clean fuels company Axens has acquired stakes in the BioTJet project with the aim of building and operating Europe’s largest sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plant in France.

Due to become operational in 2027 pending a final investment decision at the end of next year, the facility would use the Fischer-Tropsch process and BioTfueL technology, Axens said on 12 April.

BioTfuel is an advanced biofuel production technology using the thermochemical route.

Axens said it would be working on the BioTJet project alongside its partners e-fuel (e-methanol and SAF) producer Elyse Energy, French vegetable oil and biodiesel group Avril, biomass plant manager Bionext – set up by the BioTJet project partners to manage operations including the construction and operation of two demonstration units – and French public research organisation IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) through its investment subsidiary IFP Investissements.

In addition to supporting the development of the BioTJet project as a licensor and equipment, catalyst and adsorbent supplier, Axens said it would become a shareholder and partner of the BioTJet project company.

“Our investment in this large-scale French industrial project shows Axens’ … commitment to the industrial development of technologies essential to the energy transition,” Axens CEO Jean Sentenac said.

The BioTJet project would make it possible to process a broad spectrum of lignocellulosic biomasses, which do not compete with food uses, in a chain combining torrefaction, gasification and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, for the production of SAF and by-products such as sustainable naphtha, Axens said.

The BioTJet project has received support from the ADEME (The French Agency for Ecological Transition) as part of the France 2030’s 4th Investments for the Future Program, through the Call for Proposals for the “Development of a French Sustainable Aviation Fuel production sector”.

According to its website Axens Group provides a range of solutions for the conversion of oil and biomass to cleaner fuels, the production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates and treatment and conversion options for natural gas.

The company’s range includes technologies, equipment, furnaces, modular units, catalysts, adsorbents and related services.