Willis Lease Finance Corporation to produce SAF in North East England


The commercial aircraft engine lessor and aviation service provider, Willis Lease Finance Corporation (WLFC), plans to develop and produce Power-to-Liquid (PtL) Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in north east England.

The project,  currently in the front end design stage, will see a refinery  constructed in Teesside  in partnership with WLFC subsidiary, Willis Sustainable Fuels, and other strategic and financial partners.

Teesside was chosen due to the location of WLFC’s aircraft technical services business at Teesside International Airport, Darlington. The project completed a feasibility study in 2022. The SAF produced will be made available to more than  120 commercial and regional airlines through WLFC commercial partnerships and major fuel distributors. The PtL SAF will use feedstocks derived from CO2 and green hydrogen, produced from renewable electricity.

“Our pioneering PtL SAF project would directly support the global aviation industry’s ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, which represents a major, near-term step in the important effort to decarbonise aviation,” said Austin C. Willis, CEO of WLFC. “As one of the first aviation leasing companies to spearhead a SAF initiative of this magnitude, we are thrilled to be continuing our legacy as a leader and innovator in aviation.”

The Teesside refinery is part of an ongoing strategy to decarbonise aviation including $1.5bn committed and invested in modern technology and lower fuel consumption engines, said Willis.


Image courtesy of Willis Lease Finance Corporation.