Neste supplies San Francisco with first batch of sustainable aviation fuel through existing fuel pipeline
Thu 16 July 2020 – Finland-based Neste has delivered its first batch of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) following an agreement it signed in 2018 with a group of eight airlines and fuel producers to expand the use of SAF at the airport. The blended jet fuel, made up of 35% SAF, is being supplied to aircraft at SFO through the existing pipeline infrastructure, another first. Neste’s renewable jet fuel product is made from renewable waste and residue materials, such as used cooking oil or animal fats, and final processing and production activity for the SFO batch was completed in Houston, Texas, before being shipped to San Francisco. The company said the greenhouse gas reductions from the the volumes it is supplying to SFO would be the equivalent of taking 1,200 narrowbody flights between SFO and New York out of service.
“We are extremely happy to have partnered with SFO, a forerunner with a concrete emission reduction strategy, to address climate change and support them in achieving climate targets,” said Thorsten Lange, EVP for Renewable Aviation at Neste.
“In neat form and over the life cycle, Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel reduces GHG emissions up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel. It can be easily delivered in a multi-product pipeline, which should become a standard process in the future.”
Neste currently has the capacity to produce up to 34 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel per year, with ambitions to be able to produce up to 340 million gallons by 2022. It also aspires to make its production operations carbon neutral by 2035.
“This is a major milestone in our goal to make SFO a hub for the use of sustainable aviation fuel in our pursuit of carbon neutrality,” commented SFO Airport Director Ivar Satero on the delivery. “By focusing on the entire supply chain process, achievements like this one have the power to transform the landscape of our entire industry. I am grateful for our partnership with Neste to make this climate quantum jump a reality.”
The agreement signed in September 2018 included United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Cathay Pacific, which between them at the time represented nearly 70% of all flights at SFO. The four fuel producers involved are the airport’s two primary suppliers, Chevron and Shell, along with LanzaTech and Neste.
SFO had been working on a study to identify the necessary supply chain and infrastructure required for expanded use of SAF and the signatories to the agreement are participating in a SAF stakeholder working group, which includes airlines, fuel providers, government agencies, researchers and NGOs. The addition of credits for alternative aviation fuels in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard has given a boost to the use of SAF at airports like SFO.
“This is a clear signal to anyone wondering what the future of air travel is – it will be low-emission, it will be sustainable and it will be powered by sustainable aviation fuel,” said Chris Cooper, VP Renewable Aviation at Neste North America.
SFO has a five-year strategic plan of becoming the world’s first ‘triple zero’ airport, achieving not just carbon neutrality but also zero net energy and zero waste. In fiscal 2018, it had curtailed its emissions by 39% from a 1990 baseline, reduced per-passenger water use by 22.5% below 2013 levels and natural gas use by 10%. It is certified at Level 3 under the industry’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and is striving for the highest Level 3+ carbon neutrality recognition by 2021.