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Major contract to World’s largest wood pellet producer

13 September 2022

In the United States (US), Enviva Inc., the world’s largest industrial wood pellet producer, and Alder Fuels, a cleantech developer have signed a contract for the long-term, large-scale supply of “sustainably sourced woody biomass” from Enviva to further commercialize the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The agreement would make Enviva an exclusive supplier of up to 750 000 tonnes per year of “sustainably sourced woody biomass” to Alder’s first Alder Greencrude (AGC) production facility, soon to be under construction in the southeastern United States.

Backed by Honeywell UOP, United Ventures, Avfuel, Boeing, US Defense Logistics Agency, the US Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), AGC can be refined using existing infrastructure into low-carbon to carbon-negative SAF that matches petroleum-based equivalents on specification and performance.

Major milestone

The announcement represents a major milestone in the rapid acceleration and scaling up of low-carbon transportation fuels with the potential to fundamentally change the future of flying and other modes of transport over time.

In March 2021, major US airlines committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, which was reinforced by an announcement in October 2021 by the world’s airlines and aviation community. Recognizing the scaling up of SAF is critical to meeting such aggressive climate goals, the White House launched the “SAF Grand Challenge,” with goals to have 11.3 billion litres of SAF produced in the US by 2030 and augmenting to 132.4 billion litres by 2050.

The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law amplifies the US commitment to SAF by providing tax credits for every gallon of SAF produced based on lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction percentages.

Further, the IRA extends and modifies the tax credit for the production of renewable energy from biomass and other technologies. Europe is pursuing similar policy initiatives such as ReFuelEU, with the European Parliament voting in support of draft rules to require SAF to account for at least 85 percent of European Union (EU) aviation fuel by 2050.

Similarly, the United Kingdom announced the introduction of a SAF mandate, requiring at least 10 percent of jet fuel to be produced sustainably by 2030. Major US airlines have been seeking opportunities to collaborate with other industries to deliver commercial solutions to sustainable aviation at scale, with such initiatives accelerating over the past two years as they individually, and collectively, committed to becoming carbon neutral.

United Airlines has already committed to purchasing 5.7 billion litres of SAF from Alder Fuels when produced to the airline’s requirements. United Airlines’ commitment represents purchasing more than twice as much SAF as the rest of the world’s airlines combined.

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Source: Bioenergy International

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