Posted on: 20 September 2016 by Mark Howells
JetBlue has entered a ten-year renewable jet fuel purchase agreement with bioenergy company SG Preston to benefit its bottom line and lower net CO2 emissions.
In 2015, the airline signed the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge, and this new deal is another response to an aviation industry-wide goal to cap net greenhouse gas growth from 2020 onward.
SG Preston’s renewable jet fuel is made from rapidly renewable, bio-based feedstocks that do not compete with food production.
JetBlue’s purchase agreement marks the largest, most long-term commitment by any airline globally for hydro-processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) based renewable jet fuel.
The carrier plans to purchase more than 33 million gallons of blended jet fuel per year for at least 10 years. The fuel will consist of 30% renewable jet fuel blended with 70% traditional Jet-A fuel. The renewable jet fuel portion produced from select plant oils is targeted to achieve a 50% or higher reduction in greenhouse gases emissions per gallon based on a life-cycle analysis.
In its blended form, the total amount of renewable jet fuel JetBlue will purchase equals approximately 20% of its annual fuel consumption at New York JFK.
The fuel is expected to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s qualification for renewable fuel standards, as well as the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials certification standard for sustainable production of biofuels.
“The future of aviation relies in part on renewable energy sources. We’re taking a leadership role in technology and other advancements including renewable jet fuels,” stated Robin Hayes, president and CEO, JetBlue. “JetBlue is preparing for a world where we must reduce our production of greenhouse gases. With this in mind, we have executed one of the largest renewable jet fuel purchase agreements. This is just one step of many in our work towards a lower carbon future.”
Randy Delbert LeTang, SG Preston’s founder, CEO and president, noted, “This strategic relationship with JetBlue is a continuation of SG Preston’s commitment to develop reliable products from renewable resources at commercial scale and volume for stakeholders who recognise renewable has transcended buzzword status and is a critical component of responsible growth. Our strategy is to address the demand versus supply gaps in the industry and align development and delivery mechanisms to meet our customers’ demand in the least disruptive way.”
JetBlue and its business partners tested the type of renewable jet fuel associated with this deal and qualified it for use in 2011 via industry evaluations that took place as part of the alternative fuels approval process of ASTM International.
To date, more than 2,200 commercial, revenue flights by 22 airlines have flown on different types of renewable jet fuel, with many of those flights being flown with the HEFA-SPK type fuel to be produced by SG Preston.