SkyNRG: Sustainable aviation fuel in South Africa investment to support project plant Solaris, producing sustainable bio-kerosene from tobacco

In South Africa, they know exactly how to grow tobacco plants. But by fierce competition from neighboring countries and the reduced popularity of tobacco, there is increasing unemployment, much ground remains unused and untapped knowledge.

SkyNRG seizes this opportunity and grows in South Africa, a tobacco plant which renewable aviation fuel is made: Solaris.

Green jet fuel

“SkyNRG wants to preserve the aviation industry through the use of green jet fuel,” explains the Feijter Hayo, of SkyNRG, out. “At present, the company is a global leader and have already flown more than 20 airlines on the renewable fuel. An Italian company has developed the tobacco plant Solaris and holds the patent. Of the oil from the plant seeds is made sustainable kerosene. In South Africa grew tobacco plants immediately very good and so were all the pieces in place. ”

New crop

“It’s a whole new crop, which made financing difficult. National Office for Entrepreneurial Netherlands ( helped us on our way with the Transition Facility (TF). Thanks to this grant, we were able to start the project. “With the Transition Facility supports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs companies and universities that want to do business in South Africa.

Multipurpose plant

Solaris plant offers more than just oil to make fuel. Hayo, “When the oil is pressed from the seeds, there remains a so-called press cake: a good basis for animal feed. Conveniently, because South Africa imports this commodity now. The residual biomass is used to produce biogas. The whole plant is useful for the South African economy. ”


Around the town of Marble Hall grows Solaris on the basis of different farmers. In the barn of one of them is the office of SkyNRG. “We have a number of large commercial farmers under contract, but also want to involve small farmers with less knowledge and resources in the project. They get support from our training, “said Hayo.

Economic rationale

The project runs smoothly. Hayo “Boeing and South African Airways will fly for example on our product. I think it’s wonderful that we have with the help of can drop a project that will soon have real economic existence. For example, in the investment a good balance between development and commerce. “

Source, case study, press release, 2015-03.


Agentschap NL (Netherlands Enterprise Agency (
Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
South African Airways