In the United States (US), renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable fuels company Aemetis Inc. has announced that it has agreed to a multi-year agreement with International Airlines Group (IAG) to supply sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to help power both British Airways and Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus’ flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California (CA) from 2025.
International Airlines Group (IAG) is one of the world’s largest airline groups with 533 aircraft flying to 279 destinations and carrying around 118 million passengers each year (pre-COVID).
Its leading airlines in Spain, the UK, and Ireland include Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, and LEVEL.
IAG will purchase a total of 78 400 tonnes of neat SAF equivalent over seven years, enough to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 248 000 tonnes.
Sustainable aviation fuel continues to be shown to be a great solution to decarbonize aviation and can be used in existing aircraft engines. IAG is continuing to take a leadership position by the conversion of its fuel supply to the use of sustainable fuels, commented Eric McAfee, Chairman, and CEO of Aemetis.
The SAF will be produced at the Aemetis Carbon Zero plant currently under development in Riverbank, California (CA).
Our production of SAF in California is supported by the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (CLCFS), creating new investment and jobs in disadvantaged minority communities in the state, Eric McAfee added.
The plant will be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity and is designed to sequester CO2 from the production process, significantly reducing the carbon intensity of the fuel.
IAG was the first airline group in the world to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the first European airline group to commit to using SAF for 10 percent of its fuel by 2030.
SAF is key to decarbonizing aviation and IAG has to date committed US$865 million in SAF purchases and investments. We see great potential to develop a long-term partnership with Aemetis which is at the cutting edge of producing low-carbon biofuels from sustainable wastes, said Jonathon Counsell, Head of Sustainability at IAG.
British Airways (BA) says that it is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions through a series of short, medium- and long-term initiatives as part of its BA Better World sustainability program.
In the short-term this includes improving operational efficiency, flying more fuel-efficient aircraft, funding carbon offset and removal projects to mitigate emissions on UK domestic flights, and progressively introducing SAF manufactured using carbon capture technology and waste feedstocks.
In the medium to longer term, the airline is continuing to invest in the development and scale up of SAF and accelerating the growth of new technologies such as zero emissions hydrogen-powered aircraft and carbon capture technology.
Likewise, Aer Lingus is committed to a lower-carbon future. In addition to SAF, a key focus is to invest in new generation and more fuel-efficient aircraft such as the Airbus A320neo and A32l neo LR.
Other significant efforts include establishing a robust carbon offsetting program, driving operational fuel efficiencies, waste reduction, and electrifying our ground operations fleet.
As we work towards our commitment of powering 10 percent of flights using SAF by 2030, this agreement with Aemetis will see aircraft on our San Francisco route using low carbon biofuels from sustainable wastes. This summer we signed two significant SAF deals and a lease agreement for two new Airbus A320neo aircraft. These are all key steps in achieving our lower-carbon future and net zero carbon emissions by 2050, said Lynne Embleton, CEO at Aer Lingus.