UK Advanced Fuels Fund grants £82m to five SAF projects


The UK Advanced Fuels Fund has agreed £82m ($99m) in grants for five UK Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) projects.

The projects are:

“Using waste or by-products to refuel airliners sounds like a flight of fancy, but thanks to £165 million of government funding it’s going to help us make guilt-free flying a reality,” said Mark Harper, UK Transport Secretary. “It’s exactly this kind of innovation that will help us create thousands of green jobs across the country and slash our carbon emissions.”

The competition provides grant funding to first-of-a-kind commercial and demonstration-scale projects in the UK at all development stages up to construction.

The UK government estimates that by 2035, the SAF sector could generate a gross value added (GVA) of up to £742m annually and support up to 5,200 jobs. A further 13,600 jobs could be generated through global exports. It says that the UK SAF could deliver a £550m yerly benefit to the UK’s balance of payments as well as increasing fuel security.

The Advanced Fuels Fund follows on from other UK Department for Transport industry competitions, including the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition (ABDC), the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C) and the Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) competition.

The Advanced Fuels Fund is being delivered with the support of Ricardo Energy and Environment and E4tech.

Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, said: “The jet zero strategy was a real statement of intent from government that aviation, without the carbon, is an achievable end goal by 2050. This £165 million of funding – alongside the 10% SAF mandate by 2030 shows the government shares our ambition of a home-grown SAF industry here in the UK. This could generate tens of thousands of jobs and huge GVA, levelling-up and exports potential for the UK. It’s a big prize and one we are committed to working with ministers to achieve.

Jennifer Holmgren, Chief Executive officer, LanzaTech, said: “The Advanced Fuels Fund competition from the Department for Transport shows real leadership in validating new technologies that can have an impact globally and we’re excited that Project DRAGON has been recognized for its potential to deliver results and create new jobs while producing the volumes of SAF greatly needed by a sector that has limited options today. We must accelerate deployment of SAF plants in the UK and by working together, we can show the world what is possible, and I thank the UK Department for Transport for its continued support.”

Mishal Almutlaq, Chief Investment Officer, alfanar Global Development, said: “alfanar is proud to be part of the UK’s journey to cement itself as a leader in clean aviation, creating quality jobs in its industrial areas as well as developing know-how in this sustainable and innovative industry. Our Lighthouse Green Fuels Waste to SAF project in Teesside is in advanced stages of development with FEED progressing well since July 2022. The Advanced Fuels Fund will positively contribute to the development costs helping enable the project to reach final investment decision and enter construction in 2024. We appreciate the Department for Transport’s continued support and would like to thank them for awarding our project grant funding.”

Henrik Wareborn, Chief Executive Officer, Velocys, said: “Velocys is delighted to receive 2 grant awards from the Advanced Fuels Fund, which will help to accelerate the production of SAF at commercial scale in the UK using our technology. The Altalto grant will allow us to begin FEED for our waste-to-SAF plant in Immingham, which already has planning permission. The e-fuels grant allows us to work with our partners to explore the UK based production of power-to-liquid SAF.”

Jeff Ovens, Managing Director, Fulcrum BioEnergy said: “Fulcrum is very excited and grateful to have been awarded funding from the UK DfT’s Advanced Fuels Fund, to help develop our ‘Fulcrum NorthPoint’ residual waste to SAF plant, at Stanlow, UK. This funding will help Fulcrum build on the technical knowledge and experience the company has gained from well over a decade of project development and the early operations of its US based, ‘Sierra BioFuels’ plant – the world’s first waste to sustainable hydrocarbon fuels facility. Alongside the operational experience gained from Sierra, this DfT funding will further help de-risk the NorthPoint project and target ‘investor ready’ status, in preparation for construction start in 2025 and operations in 2027.”