In the United States (US), renewable fuel producer World Energy LLC has announced that it has secured the critical permits required to increase output by 700 percent at its Southern California renewable fuels production facility, the world's first and North America's only commercial-scale sustainable aviation Fuel (SAF) production site.
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World Energy, which has produced SAF at a commercial scale since 2016, is teaming up with Air Products, the world’s largest hydrogen producer, and Honeywell, an innovator in SAF technology, to build the most technologically advanced production and distribution hub ever constructed.
Getting real about net-zero aviation, is going to require the mobilization of expertise and resources far beyond anything that has come before, said Gene Gebolys, CEO of World Energy.
Together, along with more than 15 other leading firms, the companies are collaborating to speed up and expand the decarbonization of aviation.
We are pulling together the very best companies in the world with the expertise, experience, commitment, and focus to collaborate on pushing the frontier of what can be done to decarbonize aviation today while building a platform for what needs to be done to decarbonize flight entirely by 2050, said Gene Gebolys.
Global air transport leaders and those heavily reliant on aviation are now entering into long-term agreements to secure access to the plant’s current and expanding supply to make carbon-net-zero aviation real.
This is an immense undertaking. But it must be done, and it requires that we move with the speed, coordination, and determination befitting the problem we are working to tackle, Gene Gebolys said.
The end of fossil fuel refining
The former oil refinery site will never again refine fossil fuels. By 2050 the facility will produce fuels that will displace over 76 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the equivalent of 3.8 million carbon-net-zero flights from Los Angeles to New York.
It will also significantly reduce the fine particulate matter (PM) emissions in the trucks, trains, and planes powered by World Energy’s fuels.
World Energy’s transformation of its facility to producing 100 percent sustainable fuel is good for the planet and it’s good for our City. Locally, the refinery will never again deal with petroleum products, which of course will be healthy for our residents. We welcome this change, said Paramount Mayor Vilma Cuellar Stallings.
Air Products and World Energy will collaborate on innovations to transition to green hydrogen inputs, further reducing the carbon intensity of the fuels it produces.
This project is another pioneering moment in Air Products’ commitment to helping support the energy transition. We are already building the world’s largest green hydrogen facility with our partners in Saudi Arabia and the world’s largest blue hydrogen facility in Louisiana. Now we are teaming up with World Energy to build North America’s largest SAF facility, said Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products’ Chairman, President, and CEO.
Significant economic impact
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) Institute for Applied Economics (IAE) conducted a multiregional economic impact analysis.
It estimates that between 2019 and 2024, World Energy’s ongoing operations and refinery conversion will contribute US$19.2 billion to the American economy and generate more than 18 000 jobs.
We are very pleased to be working with World Energy, enabling another US megaproject that will provide measurable sustainability benefits and advance California’s decarbonization goals by producing a renewable fuel to meet the growing demands of the aviation industry, Seifi Ghasemi said.
The world’s first and North America’s only commercial-scale SAF facility was launched in Paramount, using Honeywell UOP’s Ecofining technology in 2013, with production commencing in 2016.
World Energy and Honeywell have continued to collaborate and have strengthened this critical relationship with a technical development agreement to advance the next generation of carbon reduction technologies.
As one of the pioneers of the SAF market with Honeywell UOP Ecofining technology, our long-term engagement with World Energy continues to help transform the industry and support the goal of significantly reducing CO2 emissions, said Bryan Glover, President, and CEO of Honeywell UOP.
This collaboration will further innovations integrating more efficient SAF production processes, and new process pathways using new sustainable feedstocks, low-carbon hydrogen, and carbon capture technologies.
Our participation in this project will not only allow World Energy to build one of the most technologically advanced SAF production and distribution hubs globally it also helps accelerate the energy transition of the aviation industry, ended Byran Glover.