December 9, 2022
 

Project Speedbird moves to next phase for UK SAF production

British Airways, LanzaJet and Nova Pangaea Technologies have signed an agreement that will accelerate their joint sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) initiative.

Called Project Speedbird, the initiative aims to develop cost-effective for commercial use in the UK. 

As part of the agreement, BA parent company IAG is investing in the project to support the next phase of development.

Project Speedbird, launched by the three companies in 2021, was initially granted nearly £500,000 by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Green Fuels, Green Skies competition to fund a feasibility study for the early-stage development of the project.

Project Speedbird has now applied for the DfT’s Advanced Fuels Fund grant for additional funding, which will be key to the project’s continued development whilst the DfT seeks to roll out its recently announced Jet Zero strategy that includes implementing a SAF mandate to come into force in 2025, which will require at least 10% of UK jet fuel to be SAF by 2030.

Project Speedbird would transform agricultural and wood waste taken from sustainable sources into 102 million litres of SAF per year. 

Construction could begin as early as next year and the facility, which is planned to be built in North East England, is expected to be producing SAF by 2026.

Sarah Ellerby, CEO at Nova Pangaea Technologies, said: “This project will deliver the first end-to-end, sustainable value chain from agricultural and wood waste to SAF in the UK. It will undoubtedly play a very important role in the growing momentum towards decarbonising our aviation sector.

“The support from British Airways is a vote of huge confidence in our technology and will accelerate its commercialisation. In July, the UK Government announced its Jet Zero strategy signalling a SAF mandate of 10% of all UK flights to run on SAF by 2030. This agreement is another significant step towards meeting this mandate in the UK. Our aim is to help the UK become a global leader in the end-to-end SAF market, with consequent benefits to employment and business activity.”

Carrie Harris, Director of Sustainability at British Airways, said:  “Project Speedbird is another great step towards our mission to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner and achieve our target of using SAF for 10% of our fuel by 2030. SAF is in high demand but in short supply across the globe and so it is essential that we scale up its production as quickly as possible.

“With further investment and continued government support, Speedbird will be a key and pioneering project in the production of SAF here in the UK. The biochar carbon removal opportunities are another important aspect of this impressive innovative project that can contribute to our net zero action.”

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