US-headed renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable fuels company Aemetis, Inc has announced that it has signed Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) with eight airline members of the oneworld Alliance for 350 million (US) gallons (≈ 1.32 billion litres) of blended fuel containing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to be delivered to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in California (CA). Once finalized, the agreements will cover the delivery of SAF over a seven-year term starting in 2024.
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According to a statement, oneworld Alliance members including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, and Qatar Airways will look to utilize the SAF for their operations at San Francisco Airport, with the potential for additional oneworld members to participate in the coming months.
The fuel blend is 40 percent SAF and 60 percent petroleum jet fuel to meet international blended SAF standards. The announcement follows a joint request for proposals by oneworld member airlines to fuel suppliers – marking the first such effort announced by a global airline alliance to purchase SAF and furthering the alliance’s commitment to the decarbonization of aviation.
It builds upon the alliance’s target of 10 percent SAF use across the alliance by 2030 and underlines the alliance’s commitment to collectively source SAF. The Alliance was the first global airline alliance to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 – with sustainable aviation fuel a crucial pillar in oneworld’s pathway to carbon neutrality.
To be produced at Riverbank
The SAF will be produced at the Aemetis Carbon Zero plant currently under development in Riverbank, California. The facility will use waste wood to produce cellulosic hydrogen, which is then combined with wastes and non-edible sustainable oils and zero-carbon intensity hydroelectric electricity to produce sustainable aviation fuel.
The Aemetis Carbon Zero plant under development in the Central Valley of California is designed to utilize zero-carbon intensity electricity, negative carbon intensity hydrogen from waste wood, and renewable oils along with CO2 sequestration to produce low carbon intensity sustainable aviation fuel. The plant is designed to reduce air pollution in local disadvantaged communities by reducing orchard wood burning in fields, while creating more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs in a lower-income agricultural area said Eric McAfee, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Aemetis.
The announcement is among the many partnerships in environmental sustainability at oneworld, overseen by the oneworld Environment and Sustainability Board chaired by International Airline Group (IAG) Head of Sustainability Jonathon Counsell and with representation from all 14 member airlines.
Our alliance is standing together with the industry in supporting the transition to net-zero. As sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will play an important role in meeting aviation’s decarbonization targets, we are proud to establish another milestone and drive the SAF use at a commercial scale. We encourage all stakeholders to support our industry efforts to ensure the affordability and availability of SAF that meets the sustainability criteria as recognized by ICAO, said oneworld Chairman and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive H.E. Akbar Al Baker.
SAF is seen as a “vital solution” in the decarbonization of aviation in the near and medium-term, particularly for longer-haul flights. While the technology exists today, sustainable aviation fuel is not yet available at scale. Offtake agreements like oneworld’s commitment – as well as targeted investments, regulations, and government support mechanisms – will help enable the industry’s transition towards SAF.
This announcement for the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel continues to demonstrate what we can achieve together as an alliance and underlines the importance of collaboration in the important work to advance environmental sustainability. This latest milestone signals our commitment to driving forward momentum for the development of sustainable aviation fuel, which is crucial in reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector, said Rob Gurney, CEO, oneworld Alliance.