Alaska Airlines signs agreement to purchase sustainable jet biofuel sourced from locally grown Hawaiian feedstocks
(photo: Alaska Airlines)
Thu 25 July 2013 – Alaska Airlines has entered into an agreement to purchase sustainable jet fuel from Hawai’i BioEnergy, a consortium of three of Hawaii’s largest landowners and three venture capital companies that includes Vinod Khosla. Details of how much biofuel the airline is purchasing have not been revealed but it is hoping to begin using regular supplies in five years time. Alaska Airlines becomes the consortium’s second customer, following a provisional agreement by Hawaiian Electric Co. to purchase 10 million gallons of fuel a year for power generation to the state. The locally grown feedstock for the jet biofuel is anticipated to be woody biomass-based and, assures the airline, will be consistent with sustainability criteria established by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels.
Hawai’i BioEnergy says it will ramp up production of sustainable fuels within five years of regulatory approval, allowing Alaska Airlines to begin procuring jet biofuel for its Hawaii flights possibly as soon as late 2018.
“The development and commercialisation of local, renewable energy is of critical importance to Hawaii, given the state imports 95% of its energy needs. Use of locally grown feedstocks for biofuel production will improve Hawaii’s energy sustainability and security while creating jobs in our communities,” said Joel Matsunaga, Chief Operating Officer of Hawai’i BioEnergy.
Alaska Air Group’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Keith Loveless, commented: “Beyond the environmental advantages, it improves the fuel supply integrity in the state of Hawaii, which will allow for the further growth of our airline operations throughout the islands.”
In 2011, Alaska Airlines and sister Horizon Air were the first US domestic airlines to fly multiple passenger flights powered by a biofuel blend. Measured in revenue passenger miles, Alaska says it has reduced its carbon footprint intensity by 30% since 2004.