Jatenergy sells jatropha oil to Lufthansa

By Erin Voegele | September 13, 2011

Australia-based Jatenergy Ltd. recently announced that it has sold 200 metric tons crude jatropha oil at $1,000 per metric ton to Lufthansa, a Germany-based airline, for use in its long-term trial of renewable jet fuel. According to Jatenergy, the jatropha oil, which was sourced from its operation in Central Java, Indonesia, has been refined into biobased jet fuel for Lufthansa by Neste Oil Corp.

Lufthansa launched a six-month biofuel trial in July. A Lufthansa Airbus A321 has been flying the Hamburg-Frankfurt-Hamburg route four times daily with one of its engines fueled with a 50/50 mix of biosynthetic kerosene. As part of the trial, Lufthansa said it would use biobased fuel manufactured from jatropha, camelina and animal fat.

Jatenergy CEO Phil Hodgson said there is a strong demand from airlines for biobased jet fuel. “We can’t produce enough jatropha oil at the moment to meet demand,” he said. “Apart from sales to airlines such as Lufthansa, there is also interest from power generators and traditional biodiesel producers at prices linked to vegetable oils such as palm oil. Palm oil has priced between $1,000 and $1,250 per [metric ton] during 2011, which is around $140 to $180 per barrel. Our average ex-works production costs for the oil are around $460 per [metric ton] or $65 per barrel.”

While Biodiesel Magazine was unable to reach a representative of Jatenergy for further comment on the announcement, the company’s website states that it teamed up with jatropha oil company PT Waterland in Indonesia to create a joint venture to develop jatropha farms in Indonesia. Jatenergy owns 70 percent of the joint venture, which is named PT Jatoil Waterland. Jatenergy’s website also notes that PT Jatoil Waterland initially acquired 1,000 hectares of two- to three-year-old jatropha plantation in Central Java. It has also signed an offtake agreement for the production of the plantation over the next four years.

A preliminary final financial report published by Jatenergy for the year ended June 30 notes that as of June 30, 2011, PT Jatoil Waterland had approximately 2,000 hectares of jatropha under cultivation. According to the report, the operation produced more than 200 metric tons of crude jatropha oil in the first six months of the year. The company states that the majority of that production has been targeted for use in power generation and in the production of biobased aviation fuel. “The 2,000 hectares is of sufficient scale such that PT Jatoil Waterland is targeted to be economically self-supporting once 600 [metric tons] of oil is sold, and this expected to be in the [2011-‘12] financial year,” said Jatenergy in the report.

The report also states that Jatenergy is actively seeking third-party investment in the jatropha project. “Critical agreements have been signed with the Indonesian Forestry Department that secure both the current 2,000 [hectares] and an additional land bank of 9,000 hectares to be exploited as and when funding is available,” Jatenergy said.

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