Aerospace

£600m sustainable aviation fuel plant set to create hundreds of jobs

Monday 15 February 2021, 4:21 PM

3 Minute Read

Essar Oil (UK) Limited (Essar) is joining forces with Fulcrum BioEnergy and Essar’s subsidiary company Stanlow Terminals to create a new facility which will convert non-recyclable household waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use by airlines operating at UK airports.

This innovative bio-refinery will convert several hundred thousand tonnes of pre-processed waste, which would have otherwise been destined for incineration or landfill, into approximately 100 million litres of low carbon SAF annually.

The project, which will see an investment of approximately £600m, will use Fulcrum’s proven waste-to-fuel process, which is already being deployed at its pioneering facility outside of Reno, Nevada in the United States, where operations are due to begin later this year.

The development will see Fulcrum, whose parent is based in California, United States, construct, own and operate the plant within Essar’s Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in the North West of England. This will be the first Fulcrum plant outside the United States.

Essar will assist with the blending and supply the new SAF to airlines, with Stanlow Terminals Limited providing product storage and logistics solutions for the project under a long-term agreement.

The Fulcrum venture will complement Essar’s wider plans to build a green energy industrial cluster at the Stanlow site. Earlier this year, it announced its participation in production of blue hydrogen under the HyNet project.

The project, which will fully integrate Essar, Stanlow Terminals Limited and Fulcrum assets and technology, is part of a number of innovative solutions at Stanlow designed to cut carbon emissions and contribute to the UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. The ambitious plan sets firm foundations to accelerate the UK’s path to net zero while transforming the economy, boosting employment and delivering growth.

The Stanlow project, named Fulcrum NorthPoint, will create 800 direct and indirect jobs during the design, build and commissioning process and over 100 permanent jobs during its operation. Plans for Fulcrum NorthPoint are expected to be complete at the end of this year and subject to planning consent, will be operational in late 2025.

This new development promises to lead the way to a cleaner and more sustainable future in the North West and change the way aviation fuel is made to help decarbonise the UK.  By using SAF derived from residual domestic household and commercial waste, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced significantly on a lifecycle basis when compared to fuels produced from conventional crude oil.

Such emission reductions are approximately 70% and have the future potential to be fully carbon neutral. In addition, SAF produced at the site offers a 90% reduction in particulates, which may benefit local air quality in and around airports.

For Essar’s Stanlow Terminals Limited, this is a breakthrough deal to provide dedicated tank capacity for the storage and blending of fuel products from Fulcrum NorthPoint. It will also utilise direct pipeline access to pump and transport the SAF to UK airports through the Manchester Jet Line and the UK Oil Pipeline network (UKOP).

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