Vague hopes by Manchester airport for future supplies of low carbon fuels from Fulcrum NorthPoint

There is an enthusiastic story about Manchester airport hoping to be getting “up to 10% ” of the fuel used by aircraft at the airport replaced with SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) within 5 years “of the Fulcrum NorthPoint facility becoming operational.”  Manchester Airport had about 196,000 flights in 2019 (and in 2017). Its carbon emissions were estimated to be about 3.6 Million tonnes of CO2 in 2017.  As a quick, “back of the envelope” calculation, that would mean – if the number of flights returns to the level pre-pandemic in a few years – the airport would need over 1,100 tonnes of the SAF per year.  But the company to supply the fuel  has not yet built its facility. It is part of Essar Oil UK, which has owned the vast industrial site in Stanlow, Cheshire, for a decade. But Essar is grappling with a funding shortfall potentially running to hundreds of millions of pounds. Not a great start to embark on this novel fuel project, but hoping for the extensive funding the UK government plans to give companies that try to make “low carbon” jet fuel. The SAF is intended to have a “70% lower carbon footprint” than conventional fuel, and be made from non-recyclable waste, which would typically go into landfill.” It is actually really hard to make on a large scale.

Manchester Airport set for direct sustainable aviation fuel feed in UK first

Manchester Airports Group has partnered with Fulcrum BioEnergy Limited UK

Birmingham Post

By Jon Robinson


Manchester Airport is to become the first in the UK to have a direct feed of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Manchester Airports Group, which is also behind London Stansted and East Midlands airports, has signed a deal with Fulcrum BioEnergy Limited UK.

The memorandum of understanding will support the development and delivery of SAF produced at a new waste to fuels biorefinery, in Stanlow, Cheshire.

As part of the agreement, SAF will be supplied to Manchester Airport through a pipeline that already runs between Stanlow and the UK’s third largest gateway.

The partnership will also work to support a sustainable recovery from the pandemic, promoting green skills and jobs across the region.

The partners have said the deal could see up to 10% of the fuel used by aircraft at Manchester Airport replaced with SAF within five years of the Fulcrum NorthPoint facility becoming operational.

Neil Robinson, MAG CSR and airspace change director, said: “Today really is a landmark moment in our journey towards a decarbonised aviation sector.

“By working towards a future supply of SAF, direct to Manchester Airport via existing pipelines from a local refinery, we’re making sustainable operations accessible for airlines based here.

“The introduction of SAF is testament to the innovation we have seen, and the collaboration between airports, airlines, the Government and suppliers like Fulcrum to achieve real progress towards our goal of net zero for UK aviation by 2050.

“We are committed to ensuring that this progress continues through our role on the Government’s Jet Zero Council, on sustainable aviation and through our own targets in our CSR Strategy where we’re working to becoming net zero at our airports by 2038.”…

Jeff Ovens, Fulcrum Bioenergy Limited UK managing director, said: “Support for SAF in the UK has reached new heights and the development of the Fulcrum NorthPoint SAF facility in Cheshire will bring significant volumes of much needed low carbon fuel for airlines, either those based here in the UK, or flying in from overseas.”

“Our partnership with MAG as an airport operator will bridge airlines and fuel suppliers and make SAF accessible and more widespread within the sector. This collaboration will also support our ambition to cementing the North West as a centre for excellence for SAF in the UK, driving forward the Prime Minister’s 10 point plan for an industrial revolution.

“The aviation industry is working hard towards the Net Zero 2050 target, and through our joint work on the Jet Zero Council alongside the Government, SAF will play an integral role in achieving it.”


The sustainable fuel is blended with traditional jet fuel, with a 70% lower carbon footprint. [No evidence that is possible or likely. AW comment]

Operations director Rad Taylor of Manchester Airports said: “It’s really game-changing for the industry.”

He said: “It’s essentially about using non-recyclable waste, which would typically go into landfill, and using that to generate aviation fuel so it’s a real sustainable alternative.”  [It means there has to be plenty of food, cardboard, paper and plastic left in the waste, for it to have a high enough calorific value, to be of use as fuel.  So that means recycling less.  AW comment]

“The total estimate of carbon emissions from aircraft serving Manchester Airport is 3.6 MtCO2 per annum” in 2017.
3.16 kg CO2 are emitted per kilogram of jet fuel combusted (ICAO, 2017).
AW estimate:
That means the number of tonnes of jet fuel burned by planes using Manchester airport is around 11,300 tonnes per year, approximately.
10% of that is 1,130 tonnes of SAF need to be produced, if Manchester returns to around the same number of flights as it had pre-pandemic.

Fulcrum Northpoint website has no details.

Just that :  “This advanced, low carbon fuel facility will convert non-recyclable household and commercial waste into around 100 million litres of SAF for use by airlines operating at UK airports.” [A silly statement, which means nothing unless it says over what period of time the 100 million litres is produced. Per year? Per 20 years? Or what?  AW comment] 


“We will be consulting with the local community on the project later this year. For more information or media enquiries: ”  Phone 0800 689 1095 (no reply …)

Stanlow Refinery owner faces new financial crunch as HMRC deadline looms

Essar Oil UK, which owns the site that supplies about one-sixth of Britain’s road transport fuels, is in renewed talks with HM Revenue & Customs about its financial position, Sky News learns.

By Mark Kleinman – City editor

17 September 2021


The owner of the Stanlow oil refinery is facing a fresh financial crunch ahead of a looming deadline to repay hundreds of millions of pounds in deferred taxes.

Sky News has learnt that Essar Oil UK, which has owned the vast industrial site in north-west England for a decade, is grappling with a funding shortfall potentially running to hundreds of millions of pounds.

The company is seeking an extension to a ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement struck with HM Revenue & Customs in April in order to secure more breathing space.

Whitehall is understood to be monitoring the situation closely given the Stanlow refinery’s key status in the UK’s fuel production.

In total, roughly one-sixth of Britain’s transport fuels – equating to 4.4bn litres of diesel, 3bn litres of petrol and 2bn litres of jet fuel – are produced at the site.

It directly employs more than 900 people, with an additional 800 on-site contractors and a further 5000 people employed indirectly through the extended value chain

A spokesman for Essar Oil UK said on Friday that the company was due to repay $900m (£652m) at the end of this month, of which he said $700m (£508m) “is being paid”.

Industry sources suggested, however, that the overall liability was in fact more than £1bn – part of which was not repayable until after the end of this month – and added that Essar Oil UK was trying to find a larger sum than that acknowledged by the company.

It was unclear on Friday whether HMRC would agree to any request for an extension from the refinery-owner.


Essar Oil UK bought the site at Ellesmere Port from Shell in 2011, and has a direct pipeline which supplies Manchester Airport.

…   and it continues …


The ESSAR oil website


Essar UK has teamed up with Fulcrum BioEnergy Limited and subsidiary-company Stanlow Terminals to create a new facility which will convert non-recyclable household, commercial and other wastes into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use by airlines operating at UK airports.

This innovative bio-refinery will convert several hundred thousand tonnes of pre-processed waste, which would have otherwise been destined for incineration or landfill, into approximately 100 million litres of low carbon SAF annually.

Subject to certain project milestones being met, the facility will be producing SAF in 2026.

The project, which is supported by the UK Department for Transport, will use Fulcrum’s proven waste-to-fuel process, which is already being deployed at its pioneering facility outside of Reno, Nevada in the US, where operations are due to begin this year. Fulcrum is the only company in the world to have successfully financed and constructed a dedicated waste-to-SAF plant.

The development will see Fulcrum construct, own and operate the plant at a strategic site within the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex – their first plant outside the United States.  Essar will assist with the blending and supply the new SAF to airlines, with Stanlow Terminals providing product storage and logistics solutions for the project under a long-term agreement.

The Fulcrum venture will complement Essar’s wider plans to build a low-carbon industrial cluster at the Stanlow site.

For further information see our latest media release here.



According to a report carried out by ICF on behalf of ATAG, SAF volumes would need to increase 8,000-fold, from 50,000 tonnes in 2020 to around 400 million tonnes by 2050, in order to meet the air transport industry’s needs. This would require the construction of 5,000-7,000 refineries at a cost of up to $1.5 trillion.

““The next two decades will be dominated by advanced feedstocks converted to SAF using the alcohol-to-jet or Fischer Tropsch technologies,” predicted Cserep. These feedstocks include forestry, agricultural and household waste, as well as waste gases. Longer-term, electro-fuels produced using carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere and hydrogen are expected to come into play.”