JetBlue enters 10-year renewable HEFA SPK jet fuel purchase agreement with SG Preston; 33M gallons of 30% blend per year
JetBlue announced a ten-year renewable jet fuel purchase agreement with SG Preston, a bioenergy company. The airline will purchase renewable jet fuel made from rapidly renewable, bio-based feedstocks that do not compete with food production. This marks one of the largest renewable jet fuel purchase agreements yet, and the largest, long-term, binding commitment by any airline globally for HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) SPK (synthetic paraffinic kerosene) -based renewable jet fuel.
To launch the strategic relationship with SG Preston, JetBlue 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. The fuel is expected to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) qualification for renewable fuel standards, as well as the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials certification standard for sustainable production of biofuels.
JetBlue is currently progressing forward and working through the process with the intent of supplying New York-metropolitan area airports with renewable jet fuel. 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 John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Compared to traditional petroleum-based Jet-A fuel, renewable options can significantly reduce emissions, including pollutants related to air quality as well as net greenhouse gases. Renewable jet fuel is chemically equivalent to conventional Jet-A fuel, and poses no discernable difference in performance or safety.
With an aviation industry-wide goal to cap net greenhouse gas growth from 2020 onward, renewable jet fuel is a key aspect of JetBlue’s emissions reduction strategy. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved renewable jet fuel safe for use. JetBlue business partners have 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, the standard-setting body for fuels used by the aviation enterprise.
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.
This is a first of many steps towards a slowly evolving change. With our partner, SG Preston, we are pursuing renewable jet fuel production from feedstock systems with the ability to lower CO2 emissions by 50%or more per gallon before blending. This is a proactive step to address customer demand and protect our business and the future of our industry.—Robin Hayes, president and chief executive officer, JetBlue
JetBlue is taking a long-term approach, evaluating various technologies, materials and feedstocks. In 2016, JetBlue began actively exploring the ability to purchase renewable jet fuel for commercial use. In 2015, JetBlue was the only airline to sign the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge, highlighting its support for an international climate agreement toward a low-carbon future. JetBlue pledged to reduce global emissions from commercial air travel in partnership with aircraft and engine manufacturers, the FAA, and others.
SG Preston has a strategic goal to develop 1.2 billion gallons of renewable biofuels to help major stakeholders in the transportation and related industries meet their strategic goals.