With the aviation industry slowly edging towards increasing the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Cathay Pacific is to purchase 38 million US gallons from Aemetis.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER climbing out of Chicago O’Hare – Image, Economy Class and Beyond
The agreement between Cathay Pacific and Aemetis class for the supply of 38 million US gallons of blended Sustainable Aviation Fuel to be delivered over seven years beginning in 2025 from San Francisco International Airport.
According to Cathay Pacific, the SAF purchased can reduce more than 80,000 tonnes of lifecycle carbon emissions, equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by more than 1.3 million tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
The agreement is also part of the joint procurement initiative for SAF by the oneworld alliance, of which Cathay Pacific is a founding member.
The blended SAF to be supplied under this agreement is 40% SAF and 60% Petroleum Jet A-1 fuel. The SAF will be produced at the Aemetis Carbon Zero plant currently under development in Riverbank, California. The facility will use waste wood to produce cellulosic hydrogen and combine it with wastes and non-edible sustainable oils. It will then be converted into SAF using carbon-neutral hydroelectricity.
Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said:
“Cathay Pacific continues to reaffirm its commitment to addressing climate change despite these challenging times. In the past few years, we have announced our carbon net-zero by 2050 target and our goal of achieving 10% use of SAF by 2030. In doing this, we have built a robust SAF procurement strategy to help meet our goals. We are pleased that this agreement with Aemetis will contribute to that effort, and we hope it will also send the right signal to the SAF industry to encourage the much-needed investment and scaling up of its supply chain.”
Aemetis Chairman and CEO Eric McAfee said:
“The use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel by Cathay Pacific is another step by the oneworld Alliance towards lowering the environmental impact of aviation. Sustainable Aviation Fuel is an immediate solution to the decarbonisation of air travel and cargo flights, without requiring extensive new fuelling infrastructure or the expensive replacement of planes.”
More SAF drops in a Jet 1-A ocean
It’s welcoming to see more drops of SAF being added, as airlines push hard to deploy SAF in either blended or neat forms. with SAF being a ‘drop in’ replacement for Jet 1-A in a lot of respects (providing engines and systems have been appropirately certified).
With SAF making between 9 and 31% of the contribution to the reduction of carbon as part of the net-zero goals, the search is on as the aviation industry seeks to decarbonise.
The road to net zero. Presented at the Passenger Experience Conference 2022 by CIRIUM
SAF will be key in certain markets – especially in the long haul marker, where power options are currently lacking.
The only issue – as we know – is the supply of SAF. With more suppliers being added, it will give airlines a choice. The choice is fine, but that choice has to be backed up with supply – and that remains a question of how that supply will be filled over the next few years.
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