Aemetis signs MOUs with oneworld Alliance members for 350M gallons of blended SAF
Aemetis Inc. announced Nov. 30 that memorandums of understanding have been signed with eight airline members of the oneworld Alliance for 350 million gallons of blended fuel containing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to be delivered to San Francisco International Airport.
Once finalized, the agreements will cover the delivery of SAF over a seven-year term beginning in 2024. Oneworld members including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways will look to utilize the SAF for their operations at San Francisco Airport, with the potential for additional oneworld members to participate in the coming months.
The blended fuel is 40 percent SAF and 60 percent petroleum jet fuel to meet international blended SAF standards.
The Nov. 30 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 SAF and furthering the alliance’s commitment to the decarbonization of aviation. It builds upon the alliance’s target of 10 percent sustainable aviation fuel use across the alliance by 2030 and underlines its commitment to collectively source SAF.
Oneworld was the first global airline alliance to commit to net zero emissions by 2050—with SAF a crucial pillar in oneworld’s pathway to carbon neutrality.
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, which is then combined with wastes and nonedible sustainable oils and zero carbon intensity hydroelectric electricity to produce SAF.
SAF has a significant environmental advantage over traditional jet fuel, with an up to 100 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis. It is a vital solution in the decarbonization of aviation in the near and medium-term, particularly for longer-haul flights. While the technology exists today, SAF 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 toward SAF.
The announcement is among the many partnerships in environmental sustainability at oneworld, overseen by the oneworld environment and sustainability board chaired by Jonathon Counsell, head of sustainability at IAG, and with representation from all 14 member airlines.
“Our alliance is standing together with the industry in supporting the transition to net-zero,” said Akbar Al Baker, oneworld chairman and Qatar Airways Group CEO. “As sustainable aviation fuel will play an important role in meeting aviation’s decarbonization targets, we are proud to establish another milestone and drive the SAF use at commercial scale. We encourage all stakeholders to support our industry efforts to ensure the affordability and availability of SAF that meets the sustainability criteria as recognized by ICAO.”
Rob Gurney, oneworld CEO, said, “This announcement for the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel continues to demonstrate what we can achieve together as an alliance and underlines the importance of collaboration in the important work to advance environmental sustainability. This latest milestone signals our commitment in driving forward momentum for the development of sustainable aviation fuel, which is crucial in reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector.”
Eric McAfee, founder, chairman and CEO of Aemetis, added, “The Aemetis Carbon Zero plant under development in the Central Valley of California 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.”