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  • International Airlines Group

IAG invests in Nova Pangaea Technologies to drive UK-sourced sustainable aviation fuel

NPT’s proprietary and patented Refnova® process technology takes unwanted plant biomass and, without the use of enzymes or bacteria, converts these materials into a multitude of natural biochemicals and biofuels. (Photo: Nova Pangaea Technologies)

International Airlines Group, the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Level, announced July 24 an investment into Nova Pangaea Technologies, an innovative Teesside-based cleantech company whose technology is a crucial pathway to the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

NPT’s technology converts agricultural waste and wood residue feedstocks into second-generation ethanol, which can then be processed into SAF.

IAG’s investment will progress the development of “NovaOne,” NPT’s first waste-to-fuel commercial-scale production facility and what IAG says is U.K.’s first of its kind.

Construction is expected to begin later this year, with the facility producing biofuels by 2025, creating major employment opportunities in North East England.

NPT is one of several companies in the U.K. preparing to contribute towards the country’s domestic SAF production, which would help the industry decarbonize.

The U.K.’s SAF mandate requires at least 10 percent jet fuel to be made from sustainable feedstocks by 2030.

This represents 1.2 million metric tons of fuel (1.5 billion liters).

Total global production of SAF in 2022 was estimated by IATA to be 450 million liters at a maximum (in the range of 300 million liters to 450 million liters).

This means that total global supply would have to more than triple just to meet the U.K.’s mandate.

Facilities like the one Nova Pangaea Technologies is constructing in Teesside will be vital in meeting this demand.

IAG also plans to harness NPT’s technology to support the decarbonization of the other airlines in its group.

The project is part of IAG’s investment program in SAF, which at the end of 2022 amounted to $865 million in future SAF purchases and investments (based on assumed energy prices), with agreements in place for 250,000 tons of SAF, 25 percent towards its target of 1 million tons by 2030.

This comes as IAG seeks to secure further U.K. SAF supply ahead of the introduction of the U.K. government’s SAF mandate, which is expected to be introduced from 2025.

IAG was the first European airline group to commit to the use of 10 percent SAF by 2030 and its intention to be net zero by 2050.

“Sustainable aviation fuel is the only realistic option for long-haul airlines to decarbonize, which is why investment in this area is so critical,” said IAG CEO Luis Gallego. “At IAG, we have set a goal to use 10 percent SAF by 2030. And we are not just buying SAF, we are willing to invest in developing the industry, but we need governments in the U.K. and Europe to act now to encourage further investment.”

Sarah Ellerby, NPT’s chief executive, added, “This is a transformational milestone, and a real endorsement of the crucial work Nova Pangaea Technologies is doing. We are delighted to be adding IAG—one of the foremost names in the aviation industry—to our shareholder register. Our facility will be the U.K.’s first commercial plant of its kind, and it will play a crucial role in decarbonizing the aviation sector, as well as providing local employment opportunities. We are confident of beginning construction later this year and producing second-generation biofuels by 2025.”


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