NetJets invests in sustainable aviation fuel producer WasteFuel

By Doug Gollan, February 4, 2021

WasteFuel uses proven technology that converts municipal waste into aviation grade biofuel that burns at an 80% reduction in carbon to fossil fuel-based aviation fuel

NetJets announced today it has made “a significant investment” in WasteFuel, a next-generation waste to fuel company that aims to transform landfill waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It is the first private aviation company to buy a stake in the production of sustainable aviation fuel. Additionally, NetJets will also purchase a minimum of 100 million gallons of WasteFuel’s SAF over the next ten years. 

In September, NetJets said it would be the first customer for Signature Flight Support’s new Renew SAF in San Francisco. In October, it unveiled a far-reaching umbrella for its various sustainability initiatives.

According to a press release, WasteFuel uses proven technology that converts municipal waste into aviation grade biofuel that burns at an 80% reduction in carbon to fossil fuel-based aviation fuel.

NetJets and WasteFuel

NetJets and WasteFuel are in the early phases of developing a plant in Manila, Philippines, slated to be operational in 2025, in partnership with leading infrastructure developer Prime Infra. The fuel is anticipated to be imported into Los Angeles and distributed across the NetJets operations network.

“As the leader in private aviation, NetJets is deeply invested in advancing sustainability across the industry. After launching our expanded Global Sustainability Program last year, the opportunity to invest in the production of SAF with WasteFuel was a natural next step,” said Brad Ferrell, Executive Vice President of Administrative Services. “

He added, “The biorefinery tackles the dual environmental problems of the global waste crisis and sustainable fuel, and we’re excited to take this step toward improving accessibility to SAF in the aviation industry.”

30 million gallons of SAF annually

At full capacity, the biorefinery will convert one million tons of municipal waste into 30 million gallons of SAF annually. WasteFuel will produce fuels that burn at least an 80 percent reduction in carbon than fossil-fuel-based aviation fuels. WasteFuel’s SAF has a Carbon Intensity (C.I.)  of 0 compared to an average C.I. of 41 for alternative SAFs. It has a baseline of 89.4 for non-renewable aviation fuel, according to the release.

Globally, landfills are the third-largest source of methane produced by human activity. They account for approximately 11 percent of estimated global methane emissions. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. It is about 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth on a 100-year timescale. It is more than 80 times more powerful over 20 years.

“Our waste can be our fuel,” said Trevor Neilson, Chairman and CEO of WasteFuel. “Our partnership with NetJets and Prime Infra marks the beginning of a bold new era in travel — the beginning of the hard work of making aviation truly sustainable.”

Socially responsible SAF

Prime Infra’s core investment strategy focuses on socially relevant and sustainable infrastructure, working hand in hand with host communities. “Solid waste management remains a major problem in the Philippines, especially in urban areas like Metro Manila, which generates around 10,000 tons of garbage per day. A biorefinery that will convert solid waste into SAF will make a big impact in reducing solid waste and ensuing environmental and health hazards, landfill emissions, and fossil fuel use. An added bonus, it will create jobs for the local community,” said Guillaume Lucci, President, Prime Infra.

Other investors in WasteFuel include Guy Oseary, known for his affiliation with U2 and Madonna, and Prime Infra. Prime Infra, the core infrastructure arm of Filipino Billionaire Enrique K. Razon Jr. It develops and manages infrastructure assets that enable the delivery of essential services to emerging markets.

Beyond Manila, NetJets and WasteFuel also have plans to develop four more biorefineries in the coming years.

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