Delta signs supply agreement with SAF project developer DG Fuels
Delta Air Lines has signed an agreement with DG Fuels LLC, a project developer working to establish its first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plant in Louisiana, the airline announced Aug. 30.
Under the agreement, DG Fuels plans to establish a new SAF supply stream that could provide Delta with 385 million gallons of unblended SAF.
“Achieving a sustainable future for travel will require us all to work together across industries and encourage innovations like DG Fuel’s new low-emissions SAF option,” said Pam Fletcher, Delta’s chief sustainability officer. “SAF is essential to our industry’s more sustainable future, and new supply-chain streams will help ensure sustainable fuel becomes more available and affordable.”
Anticipated to begin delivery by the end of 2027, DG Fuels is planning to deliver 55 million gallons of SAF annually for seven years. The SAF will likely use timber waste, corn stover and cotton-gin waste as feedstock and is expected to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emission by between 75 and 85 percent compared to conventional jet fuel.
The agreement also moves Delta toward its recently validated Science Based Targets initiative goal to reduce well-to-wake scopes 1 and 3 jet fuel greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 45 percent per revenue metric-ton kilometer by 2035 from a 2019 base year. Science Based Targets initiative is a coalition that defines and promotes emissions-reductions goals that climate scientists predict are needed to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
“DG Fuels is committed to developing and supporting initiatives that provide practical and sustainable benefits to businesses, the environment and local communities,” said Michael C. Darcy, CEO of DG Fuels. “We are proud to take this next long-term step alongside Delta Air Lines in supporting the lasting sustainability of our planet by reducing the impact of airline travel on the environment.”
SAF is among the most impactful solutions on the market today for reducing aviation’s carbon emissions, but availability remains limited—the current existing supply would only operate a fleet Delta’s size for a single day.
“Cellulosic biomass feedstock SAF is the key to scaled deployment that moves the needle for the aviation industry in reducing its carbon footprint,” said Christopher J. Chaput, president and chief financial officer of DG Fuels. “Delta is a known innovator in the airline industry, so we’re excited to work with them on implementing this long-term partnership.”
In SAF and other emerging technologies, Delta is also partnering with corporate, agency and cargo customers on SAF agreements to encourage the growth of the alternative fuels markets. Those efforts have resulted in more than 1 million gallons of purchased SAF so far.
As of last October, DG Fuels expected its SAF project in Louisiana, scaled at nearly 150 million gallons per year, to be placed into service by 2025.