British Airways has committed to purchasing, at market prices, low-carbon jet fuel produced by the GreenSky London waste-to-fuel plant. The contract is worth $500 million over ten years, at today’s prices.
The GreenSky London project will see the construction of a facility that will annually convert about 500,000 metric tons of waste normally destined for landfill into 50,000 metric tons of low-carbon jet fuel, 50,000 metric tons of biodiesel, bionaphtha and renewable power.
Solena Fuels Corporation will provide the high temperature gasification process that converts waste matter into synthesis gas and the overall integrated biomass gasification to liquids solution. Oxford Catalysts Group/Velocys will supply the Fisher-Tropsch reactors and catalyst which will convert the cleaned synthesis gas into liquid hydrocarbons. Fluor has started the “pre-front end” engineering and design for the project. Barclays has been appointed as adviser to explore optimal funding through export credit agencies.
The partners aim to have the site operational by 2015. Plans for a collaboration between BA and Solena were first announced in 2010.
Last year, Qantas worked with Solena to investigate the $312 million construction of a commercial waste biofuel plant, fed by food scraps, grass and tree cuttings, and agricultural and industrial waste. The Solena biofuel process was estimated to contribute a lifecycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 95 percent over fossil-fuel derived kerosene.
Qantas’ head of environment John Valastro said the industry needs public and private sector investment for production to reach commercial scale at competitive prices. In April, the company operated Australia’s first commercial flights powered by a blend of converted cooking oil and conventional jet fuel on a Sydney-Adelaide return service operated by an Airbus A330.