Manchester Airport will become the first in the UK to have a direct feed of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) thanks to a partnership between Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and Fulcrum BioEnergy (Fulcrum).
MAG – the owner of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports – has signed a memorandum of understanding with Fulcrum, which will support the development and delivery of SAF produced at a new waste to fuels biorefinery, in Stanlow, Cheshire.
As part of the agreement – backed by business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng – SAF will be supplied to Manchester Airport through a pipeline that already runs between Stanlow and the third largest gateway in the UK.
Fulcrum is a pioneer in the conversion of non-recyclable residual wastes into sustainable fuels.
The new biorefinery, Fulcrum NorthPoint, is part of wider plans to establish the north-west as the leading producer of SAF in the UK.
The partnership will also work to support a sustainable recovery from the pandemic, promoting green skills and jobs across the country.
Neil Robinson, MAG airspace change director, said: “This really is a landmark moment in our journey towards a decarbonised aviation sector.
“By working towards a future supply of SAF, direct to Manchester Airport via existing pipelines from a local refinery, we’re making sustainable operations accessible for airlines based here.”
Fulcrum NorthPoint will produce approximately 100 million litres of SAF per year – which when blended 50/50 with traditional jet fuel, could fill the fuel tanks of approximately 1,200 Boeing 777-300s.
The fuel produced will have a CO2 footprint at least 70 per cent lower than that of its traditional jet fuel equivalent and will be produced from residual household and commercial wastes, which would otherwise be destined for landfill or incineration.
Kwarteng added: “This partnership is a huge leap forward for the long-term competitiveness of Britain’s aerospace sector, demonstrating how, by going green, industry can create jobs and help level up across the UK.
“Cleaner aerospace and aviation is at the centre of our plans to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.
“That is why we are backing sustainable aviation fuel with £180 million of support and working with industry to turbocharge low carbon aerospace innovation with £3.9 billion.”