Queensland Refinery Converts By-Products to SAF
Jet Zero Australia is partnering with LanzaJet, a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) technology company, to develop a biofuel production facility in Queensland. The facility is being supported by the Qantas Group, Airbus, and the Queensland Government.
Jet Zero Australia and LanzaJet are developing a Queensland biofuel production facility, the first project funded under the Qantas and Airbus Australian Sustainable Aviation Fuel Partnership.
The Qantas Group and Airbus will invest AUD 2 million (US$1.34 million) in an initial AUD 6 million (US$4 million) capital raising, while the Queensland Government will contribute AUD 760,000 (US$500,700). Other Australian and international institutional funds will provide additional funding, and the capital raised will be used for a detailed feasibility study and early-stage project development.
LanzaJet's alcohol-to-jet technology will be used in the proposed North Queensland facility, expected to produce 100 million litres of SAF annually. The Qantas Group and Airbus have pledged up to $200 million to establish a SAF industry in Australia. SAF is the most effective way for airlines to reduce emissions, as it requires no modifications to current engines and infrastructure. Construction is set to begin in 2024.
Qantas Group Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Parker stressed the importance of SAF for decarbonising the aviation industry. He said that the investment would support an innovative project to produce SAF from agricultural by-products and establish a major domestic biofuel refinery. He also mentioned that this is one of several projects to be funded this year to accelerate the development of a local SAF industry in Australia.
Airbus Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Julie Kitcher highlighted that Airbus aircraft can fly with up to 50% SAF blend. She added that SAF is a priority for Airbus and the industry, and this investment is an example of turning commitments into action.
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the project aligns with the state's Energy and Jobs plan and will be a game-changer for the state's economic future and decarbonisation goals.
Mr. Miles stated that Queensland has abundant feedstock and is in a prime position to benefit from the global transition to SAF, potentially becoming a leader in the local SAF industry. He further added that it is exciting to consider that Queensland could be producing the millions of litres of SAF required to fuel flights both locally and globally, creating additional regional employment opportunities. This announcement further demonstrates Queensland's readiness to become a clean energy powerhouse.
To meet its sustainability targets, Qantas currently sources SAF from overseas and plans to use 10% SAF in its fuel mix by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It has formed the SAF Coalition with five leading Australian companies, including Australia Post and KPMG, to demonstrate demand for SAF in Australia and reduce their carbon emissions.