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oneworld members to buy 350 million gallons of SAF from Aemetis

oneworld members to buy 350 million gallons of SAF from Aemetis
Photo courtesy of Aemetis

Members of the oneworld® Alliance, intend to purchase more than 350 million gallons of blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from renewable fuels company Aemetis for their operations at San Francisco International Airport, further signifying the alliance’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Once finalised, the agreements will cover the delivery of sustainable aviation fuel over a seven-year period beginning in 2024. oneworld members including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas and Qatar Airways will look to utilise the sustainable aviation fuel for their operations at San Francisco Airport, with the potential for additional oneworld members to participate in the coming months.

The blended sustainable aviation fuel is 40% sustainable aviation fuel and 60% petroleum jet fuel to meet international blended sustainable aviation fuel 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 sustainable aviation fuel, and furthering the alliance’s commitment to the decarbonisation of aviation. It builds upon the alliance’s target of 10% sustainable aviation fuel use across the alliance by 2030 and underlines the alliance’s commitment to collectively source sustainable aviation fuel.

oneworld 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.

The sustainable aviation fuel will be produced at the Aemetis Carbon Zero plant currently under development in Riverbank, California, U.S.A. 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 utilise 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,” said Eric McAfee, founder, chairman and CEO of Aemetis. “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.”

Sustainable aviation fuel has a significant environmental advantage over traditional jet fuel, with an up to 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis. It is a vital solution in the decarbonisation 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 sustainable aviation fuel.