Thousands of tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will be produced for the first time in the UK in a deal with British Airways.
BA claims it will become the first airline in the world to use SAF produced on a commercial scale in Britain after signing a multi-year agreement with multinational energy company Phillips 66.
Humber Refinery near Immingham will produce the fuel and supply it to BA to power a number of its flights from early 2022.
The airline, which aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, will purchase enough sustainable fuel to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions by almost 100,000 tonnes, the equivalent of powering 700 net zero CO2 emissions flights between London and New York on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The SAF will be produced from sustainable waste feedstock at the Humber Refinery, which will deliver its SAF supply to British Airways via existing pipeline infrastructure that feeds directly into UK airports.
BA chief executive Sean Doyle said: “This agreement marks another important step on our journey to net zero carbon emissions and forms part of our commitment, as part of International Airlines Group, to power 10% of flights with SAF by 2030.
“The UK has the resources and capabilities to be a global leader in the development of SAF and scaling up the production of SAF requires a truly collaborative approach between industry and government.
“We are excited to develop our relationship with Phillips 66 Limited further with a view to growing production capacity and using a wider range of sustainable waste feedstocks to supply our future flights. The development of sustainable aviation fuel is a major focus for us and forms part of our commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 through a series of short-, medium- and long-term initiatives.”
IAG is spending $400 million over the next 20 years into the development of SAF and BA has existing partnerships with a number of technology and fuel companies to develop SAF plants and purchase the fuel.
SAF can reduce “lifecycle” carbon emissions by more than 80% compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces.
Humber Refinery general manager Darren Cunningham, lead executive for Phillips 66 in the UK, said: “The Humber Refinery was the first in the UK to co-process waste oils to produce renewable fuels and now we will be the first to produce SAF at scale, and we are delighted British Airways is our first UK customer.
“We’re currently refining almost half a million litres of sustainable waste feedstocks a day, and this is just a start. Markets for lower-carbon products are growing, and this agreement demonstrates our ability to supply them.
“This agreement with British Airways aligns with our strategy to create a refinery of the future, where we’re producing fuels from waste, being a critical part of the electric vehicle supply chain, reducing the carbon intensity of our processes through carbon capture and using hydrogen to power the refinery. It secures long-term business in an ever-changing world.”