Thu 10 Jan 2019 – Waste-to-fuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy has selected Gary, Indiana, as the location for its Centerpoint BioFuels Plant, which will have the capacity to produce three times the amount of renewable transportation fuels compared to its first Sierra plant in Nevada that is due to start operations in early 2020. Construction of Centerpoint is expected to begin in 2020 and take around 18-24 months to complete. Once operational, it will process in the region of 700,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) from the Greater Chicago area and converted offsite into a prepared feedstock to produce approximately 33 million gallons of renewable jet and diesel fuels. California-based Fulcrum has partnerships and offtake agreements with United Airlines and Cathay Pacific, and jet fuel suppliers Air BP and World Fuel Services. Meanwhile, the US National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is hosting an event at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles on January 17 to highlight plans by the business aviation sector to adopt sustainable jet fuels.
The Centerpoint plant will deploy Fulcrum’s propriety process that claims to reduce GHG emissions by more than 80% when compared to conventional fossil fuels. The company says it will create 900 construction jobs and 160 full-time permanent jobs.
“Launching our business in Indiana is an important next step in expanding our capabilities to new cities rich in innovation and opportunity,” commented Fulcrum CEO Jim Macias. “Our MSW-to-fuels process will help reduce the impacts from climate change and boost the economy by producing low-carbon transportation fuel as well as bringing high-paying jobs and investment to northwest Indiana.”
In addition to long-term offtake agreements, Fulcrum has received sizeable equity investment from United Airlines, Cathay Pacific and BP. Last September, it concluded a similar deal with a Japanese consortium that includes Japan Airlines. The company announced at the time it was accelerating the development of several projects across North America and Europe.
Meanwhile, the NATA event next week, ‘Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Toward Sustainability’, is intended to showcase the sector’s commitment to emissions reductions through the development and adoption of sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF). It will be attended by a coalition of international industry organisations that launched the SAJF Initiative and Business Aviation Guide at last year’s EBACE show in Geneva (see article). Representatives from local government and airports, as well as fuel suppliers, will also take part. The day-long event will feature a SAJF workshop and in-flight demonstrations with aircraft flying on SAJF.
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