Wizz Air backs production of SAF from sewage sludge 

Wizz Air is investing £5 million into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) research and development.

The budget carrier is backing biofuels firm Firefly Green Fuels to supply SAF to its UK operations from 2028, with up to 525,000 tonnes over 15 years. 

The agreement has the potential to save the equivalent of 1.5 million tonnes of CO2.

Firefly specialises in a process which converts sewage sludge into SAF. More than 57 million tonnes of sewage sludge are produced in the UK each year, with the potential to produce 250,000 tonnes of SAF.

The company aims to have its first commercial plant operating within the next five years.

Wizz Air head of strategic projectsMichael Berlouis said: In addition to fleet renewal and operational efficiency, SAF is crucial for reducing carbon emissions from aviation. 

“However, feedstock availability remains the key challenge for the industry. Our investment in Firefly and its sewage sludge SAF technology is a major step forward for Wizz Air in securing its long-term ability to provide low-cost fares to its customers in an ever more environmentally sustainable way. 

“From 2028, we are aiming to procure 525,000 tonnes of SAF from Firefly over a period of 15 years. 

“This has the potential to reduce our emissions by 100,000 tonnes CO2 per year, which is equal to the emissions of over 12,000 return Wizz Air flights between London and Budapest.”

Firefly chief executive James Hygate added: “We are thrilled to be establishing a partnership with Wizz Air. The investment will accelerate the commercialisation of our game-changing Firefly process, with the binding offtake agreement saving a staggering 1.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions. 

“Firefly will facilitate a step change towards the future of air travel. 

“The feedstock, sewage sludge, is available in vast quantities globally and with Firefly we can put it to a truly beneficial use, reducing the use of fossil fuels in the hardest to decarbonise areas.”

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