Airlines Sign MOUs for Renewable Jet Fuel

AltAir Fuels this week announced it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with more than 14 major airlines, led by the ATA, from the United States, Mexico, Canada and Germany to negotiate the purchase of up to 750 million gallons of renewable jet fuel and diesel derived from camelina and produced by AltAir Fuels. The renewable fuel, to be produced at a new facility in Anacortes, Washington, would replace about 10 percent of the petroleum fuel consumed annually at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

“Today’s announcement reinforces the proactive steps that airlines are taking to stimulate competition in the aviation fuel supply chain, contribute to the creation of green jobs, and promote energy security through economically viable alternatives that also demonstrate environmental benefits,” said Glenn Tilton, ATA board chairman and UAL Corporation and United Airlines chairman, president and CEO. “Our intention as an airline industry is to continue to do our part by supporting the use of alternative fuels. We urge the U.S. government and the investment community also to do their part to further support this critical energy opportunity,” said Tilton.

The participating airlines include, American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Blue Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Polar Air Cargo, United Airlines, UPS Airlines and US Airways.

Camelina oil will be converted into both renewable jet fuel and diesel at a new facility to be located at the existing Tesoro oil refinery in Anacortes.  Based on analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture data for comparable projects, AltAir estimates the project will create hundreds of jobs in a variety of industries, including farming and agricultural logistics, engineering and construction, and operations, maintenance and refining. The facility will have a nameplate capacity of 100 million gallons per year, and is slated to begin operations in 2012.

The camelina oil will be sourced from Montana-based Sustainable Oils, which has the largest camelina research program in North America and production contracts with numerous farmers and grower cooperatives. AltAir has chosen refining technology developed by UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, which has already produced biojet fuel for various test flights and U.S. military contracts in 2009.

AltAir Fuels’ renewable jet fuel and green diesel are to be blended with petroleum-based jet fuel and diesel at the Tesoro Anacortes refinery, and transported to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and other locations through the existing pipeline system.

The renewable jet fuel and diesel produced by AltAir Fuels will be fully compatible with the existing transportation fuel infrastructure, and will require no special handling. The fuel will be consumed by aircraft owned and operated by airlines who have signed the MOU, as well as heavy machinery operated at the Port of Seattle facilities.


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