Velocys, with British Airways and Shell, to build first waste-to-fuels plant in the UK
Image courtesy of Shell

Velocys, with British Airways and Shell, to build first waste-to-fuels plant in the UK

Altalto Immingham Limited, a subsidiary of Velocys, and a collaboration with project co-investors British Airways and Shell has submitted a planning application to develop what is expected to be Europe’s first commercial-scale household and commercial solid waste-to-fuels plant in North East Lincolnshire, UK.

The site is near Immingham, close to the Humber Estuary. The plant would take over half a million tonnes each year of non-recyclable everyday waste otherwise destined for landfill or incineration, and convert it into cleaner-burning sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and road fuel.

The technology, integrated by Velocys, enables a net 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for each tonne of sustainable jet fuel that displaces a tonne of conventional fuel. The greenhouse gas reductions achieved from the plant’s annual output are equivalent to up to 40,000 standard size petrol engine cars.

The fuel also improves air quality, with up to 90% reduction in particulate matter (soot) from aircraft engine exhausts and almost 100% reduction in sulphur oxides; and the technology offers a lower emissions route to process UK waste than incineration or landfill.

The development is also anticipated to bring hundreds of millions of pounds of investment, hundreds of jobs during construction and approximately 130 permanent jobs into the region.

Domestically producing the fuel will have the added benefit of improving the UK’s fuel supply and resilience given that the UK currently imports more than 70% of its jet fuel from abroad.

“Velocys has a solution to decarbonise aviation fuel by converting an unwanted feedstock – household and commercial solid waste – to create a highly valuable product: sustainable transport fuels,” said Henrik Wareborn, CEO, Velocys. “This will cut greenhouse gas emissions from aviation, as well as improving air quality and helping to tackle our waste problem. This is a vital step towards the ultimate goal of living in a net-zero carbon world by the middle of the century.”

“The submission of the planning application marks a major milestone in this project and we are delighted with the progress being made. Sustainable fuels can be a game-changer for aviation which will help power our aircraft for years to come. This development is an important step in the reduction of our carbon emissions and meeting the industry targets of carbon-neutral growth from 2020, and 50% in CO2 reduction by 2050 from 2005 levels. It also brings the UK another step closer to becoming a global leader in sustainable aviation fuels,” adds Alex Cruz, British Airways chairman and CEO.