WestJet teams with clean energy centre to develop a sustainable aviation fuel supply chain in Western Canada
Fri 29 Apr 2016 – Canadian carrier WestJet is to team with the new Clean Energy Technology Centre (CETC) in the town of Drayton Valley in central Alberta to accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable aviation biofuels in Western Canada. The area is said to be abundant with agricultural and forestry wastes as sustainable sources for the making of aviation biofuel. The fast-growing Calgary, Alberta-based airline says the location can help solve many of the challenges in finding an efficient and economical way of getting fuel from production to aircraft. In the final stages of completion, the CETC is situated in an integrated bio-industrial park called the Bio-Mile, which was established by the town to attract businesses from the emerging bio-economy.
The airline says biofuels represent the biggest and best opportunity for the aviation industry to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
“WestJet has already made significant, demonstrable progress in our environmental commitment. As an example, our fleet investment over the last 15 years has improved our fuel efficiency by almost 50%,” said Geoffrey Tauvette, WestJet Director, Environment and Fuel. “The natural next step for us was getting actively involved in tapping Western Canada’s innovation potential in developing scalable, affordable and sustainable aviation biofuels.”
The Bio-Mile park is close to forestry and oil and gas industries whose infrastructure and human resources could eventually support the development of alternative fuel sources, says the airline.
Added CETC COO Manny Deol: “We are extremely well positioned and we offer a full spectrum of advantages to clean energy researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators, including location, ready access to feedstock, transportation networks, a supportive community and academic partnerships in Alberta and Europe.”
The mayor of Drayton Valley, Glenn McLean, believed the purpose-built CETC would ideally complement the venture with WestJet. “We are ready to work with talented people all across the biofuel supply chain to meet the ambitious challenge set by WestJet,” he said.