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Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Aemetis receives Authority to Construct Air Permits for Riverbank SAF plant

Aemetis receives Authority to Construct Air Permits for Riverbank SAF plant
The Aemetis ‘Carbon Zero’ renewable jet and diesel plant in Riverbank, California (image courtesy Aemetis).

In the United States (US), renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable fuels company Aemetis Inc. has announced the receipt of the Authority to Construct (ATC) air permits for its planned sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel (RD) production plant in Riverbank, California (CA).

The Authority to Construct permits were issued by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District following an extensive technical review and two public comment periods.

In September 2023, Aemetis received approval from the City of Riverbank for the Use Permit and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review after a separate technical review and public comment process.

Together, these permits are the key permits needed for Aemetis to proceed with engineering and financing to construct the plant.

Building our sustainable aviation fuel business is a high priority to meet the rapidly increasing global demand for SAF from airlines. Achieving this essential permitting milestone is a critical step in advancing the project to financing, procurement, and construction. Reflecting the positive environment for replacing petroleum jet fuel with SAF, the US$380 billion Inflation Reduction Act includes specific SAF tax credits to support this type of project, and the USDA has provided financing support for other Aemetis renewable fuels projects to enable attractive 20-year guaranteed funding from lenders, said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis.

The plant is designed to produce 90 million (US) gallons (≈ 340 million litres) per year when allocating 50 percent to SAF and 50 percent to renewable diesel production, and 78 million gallons (≈ 295 million litres) per year when allocating 100 percent of production to SAF for the aviation market.

The issuance of the ATC permits for the Aemetis SAF/RD plant is a significant milestone in the development of the Riverbank Industrial Complex that will help reduce emissions and create hundreds of high-value local and regional jobs. As the lead agency for the CEQA and Use Permit that was issued last September, the City of Riverbank is pleased to see support from other regional and state agencies to move this project forward. This Aemetis project will invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, which will benefit the citizens of Riverbank as well as workers and businesses throughout the region.  In addition, this project will enhance the air quality in the Central Valley and reduce greenhouse gases, said Richard O’Brien, Mayor of the City of Riverbank.

The 125-acre Riverbank Industrial Complex has 100 percent renewable hydroelectricity; a rail line and storage for 120 railcars; 710,000 square feet of buildings; and 50 acres of developable industrial land.

An agreement for the lease/sale of the Riverbank Industrial Complex to a subsidiary of Aemetis was signed in December 2021.

The Aemetis Five Year Plan projects that the Aemetis sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel plant will generate US$672 million in revenues with US$195 million of adjusted EBITDA in 2027.

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