British Airways + Solena plant to make jet fuel from London’s rubbish – announcement soon?
GreenAir online gives an update on the anticipated biofuel plant (costing around $500 million) to be built in east London, to produce diesel and jet fuel. GreenAir says that according to British Airways’ a 20-acre (8ha) site has been selected for its GreenSky project with Solena and an announcement is expected within weeks. Getting the required planning permission had proved “extremely challenging.” GreenSky will convert around 600,000 tonnes of London municipal waste into 50,000 tonnes of biojet and 50,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually, and will – they hope – meet BA’s total fuel needs at London City Airport. BA hope they can claim annual carbon savings of up to 145,000 tonnes of CO2. “It’s very much a demonstration plant for us. If we can prove this works commercially then we will build a number of them in the UK – potentially up to six – at this scale or even bigger.” “The economics is driven by a current UK landfill tax of about £80 per tonne, so the scheme hopes to get the rubbish cheaply – saving councils the landfill tax. Under its 10-year contract with Solena, BA will purchase all the fuel produced by the plant. They hope to start building in early 2015 and start producing fuel in 2017.
GreenAir online reports on the planned British Airways + Solena plant to make jet fuel out of London’s rubbish
Extract from longer GreenAir online article, covering other sources and schemes of aviation biofuel – longer article at http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1838
The recent Bio Jet Fuel conference at the World Bio Markets in Amsterdam brought together the aviation and biofuel sectors to discuss progress. GreenAir reports from the event on the latest developments in Europe and further afield.
According to British Airways’ Head of Environment, Jonathon Counsell, a 20-acre (8ha) site in east London has been selected for its GreenSky project with Solena and an announcement is expected within weeks. Getting the required planning permission had proved “extremely challenging,” he said.
GreenSky will convert around 600,000 tonnes of [London’s?] municipal waste into 50,000 tonnes of biojet and 50,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually, and will meet BA’s total fuel needs at London City Airport.
“We are doing this to help reduce our carbon emissions, not to get a source of cheap fuel,” said Counsell, who expects annual savings of up to 145,000 tonnes of CO2. “It’s very much a demonstration plant for us. If we can prove this works commercially then we will build a number of them in the UK – potentially up to six – at this scale or even bigger.
“The economics is driven by a current UK landfill tax of about £80 per tonne. Within a 25-mile radius of the proposed plant there is some 10 million tonnes of available municipal waste. We do not want to pay a premium for this fuel so there are financial instruments built into the agreement to protect us from any price risk.”
Under its 10-year contract with Solena, BA will purchase all the fuel – worth $500 million at today’s prices – produced by the plant. “This has been critical to attracting investors,” said Counsell. “The downside is the significant capital investment, around $500 million. To de-risk the project it also requires world-class partners.”
The upside of the technology, he said, were GHG life-cycle savings of up to 95%, methane savings and no ILUC (indirect land use change) issues.
Construction is to start by early next year  that will take two years, with production starting in 2017, forecasts Counsell. Around 1,000 construction jobs and 200 operational roles are envisaged.
Counsell was critical of a lack of interest by the UK government over aviation biofuels. “It is apparent to us that some governments are very supportive of their aviation industry and others are less,” he said. “What we need from our government is regulatory support and a level playing field with biodiesel.”
Artist’s impression of GreenSky plant:
Solena partnership with BA to produce jet fuel from London municipal waste – delayed over 2 years?
10.9.2012In 2010 it was announced that Solena and BA would build a plant to produce jet fuel in London. Solena hoped the new aviation fuel would be produced from several types of waste materials destined for landfill. The airline said it plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet beginning in 2014. In 2010 they said the self-contained plant will likely be built in east London. It’s expected to convert 551,000 tons of waste into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel each year. However, the timetable has slipped. There is no planning application yet. It seems they hope for “notice to proceed” in 2013. One website said the project will start in 2nd quarter of 2014 and end 2nd quarter 2016. Oxford Catalysts were selected to supply the modular Fischer-Tropsch technology . There has been no planning application yet at Rainham Marshes. The timetable seems to have slipped by at least 27 months.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=457.
Is the Solena / British Airways plan for jetfuel from London domestic waste greenwash?
16 March 2012
Damian Carrington, of the Guardian, discusses the potential benefits of the plant in East London that is to be built by 2015 by Solena, to turn London’s household waste into jet fuel. It will also produce some electricity. British Airways is pushing ahead with a plant that aims to turn half a million tonnes of Londoner’s household rubbish into 50,000 tonnes a year of jet fuel. Damian says: ” I’ll let you decide if this is greenwash or not: here’s some of the details.” BA’s Jonathan Counsel says ”We accept we are a significant source of emissions, and growing,” he says. “Taking action is about earning our right to grow.” Boeing says the industry wants to get 1% biofuel into the global jet fuel supply by 2015, which equates to 600m US gallons a year. And more if it can. Why should this household waste go to aviation fuel, rather than energy for other uses?
(Someone commented on this article that – as the location of the plant is still unknown – “One of the construction mags indicated that it was “Rainham Marshes” and I gather there is already a convenient Veolia landfill site there on the Thames shore.” ??
http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1539 including earlier news on Solena / BA.
British Airways partner with Solena to convert trash into jet fuel
By Andrew Nusca
February 16, 2010
and Washington, D.C.-based bioenergy firm the Solena Group announced on Monday
a partnership to establish Europe’s first sustainable jet-fuel plant and convert trash into jet fuel.
The new fuel will be derived from waste biomass and manufactured in a new facility that can convert several types of waste materials destined for landfill into aviation fuel.The airline said it plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet beginning in 2014.The self-contained plant will likely be built in east London. It’s expected to convert 551,000 tons of waste into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel each year.Quick hits about the savings:
- The plant offers lifecycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 95 percent compared to fossil-fuel derived jet kerosene.
- The project will reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill.
- The plant itself will be CO2 neutral, and will emit oxygen, plus small quantities of nitrogen, argon, steam and carbon dioxide.
- The only solid waste product is an inert vitrified slag material, which can be used as an alternative to aggregates used in construction.
- Tail gas can be used to produce 20MW of excess electricity for export to the national grid or converted into steam to be used in a district heating system.
The green fuel will be produced by feeding waste into a patented high temperature gasifier that produces BioSynGas, or biomass-derived synthetic gas. Using a process known as Fischer Tropsch, the gas is converted into biofuels to produce biojet fuel and bionaphtha.
Bionaphtha is used as a blending component in gasoline, as well as a feedstock for the petrochemicals industry.
The resulting fuel would make all of British Airways’ flights at nearby London City Airport carbon-neutral, and is the equivalent of taking 48,000 cars off the road per year, BA says.
British Airways has signed a letter of intent to purchase all the fuel produced by the plant, which will be built by Solena.
“This unique partnership with Solena will pave the way for realising our ambitious goal of reducing net carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050,” said British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh in prepared remarks. ” We believe it will lead to the production of a real sustainable alternative to jet kerosene. We are absolutely determined to reduce our impact on climate change and are proud to lead the way on aviation’s environmental initiatives.”