Neste, a leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from waste and residue raw materials, successfully delivered its first batch of sustainable aviation fuel to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) via pipeline, where it will be used by major airlines committed to reducing carbon emissions.
Neste is the first company to deliver sustainable aviation fuel, under its brand name Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel, to SFO using the existing multi-product pipeline infrastructure. The same pipelines were originally designed to carry fossil fuels and other oil products, and are now carrying high volumes of sustainable fuel to aircraft serving Bay Area passengers. Alternatively, Neste would have had to consider delivery via truck, which could have utilized fossil fuel.
Sustainable aviation fuel is a low-emission alternative to fossil jet fuel, and works in exactly the same way. This similarity is what allows sustainable aviation fuel that meets ASTM requirements to work seamlessly as a drop-in fuel with existing aircraft engines and airport infrastructure, requiring no extra investment. The main difference is that Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel is made from sustainably sourced, 100 percent renewable waste and residue materials, like used cooking oil or animal fats, instead of crude oil.
The final processing and production activity for this batch of sustainable aviation fuel was completed in Houston, Texas. To get the fuel to California, Neste teamed up with Crowley, a family-owned vessel logistics and management company based in Florida, which transported Neste’s SAF to California on a U.S. flagged tanker where it was stored in a refurbished tank that previously was used to store oil products before being safely delivered to SFO. All this demonstrates the many potential economic benefits of a thriving biofuel industry in the United States.
Sustainable aviation fuel offers an immediate solution for reducing the direct greenhouse gas emissions of flying. For example, the volume of sustainable aviation fuel that Neste expects to provide to SFO will deliver roughly the same greenhouse gas emissions reductions as taking 1,200 flights between SFO and NYC on an A320 or 737 out of service. In neat form, Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel helps customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent compared to fossil fuels on a life cycle basis. To further enhance the environmental benefits of our renewable products, Neste aspires to make its production operations carbon neutral by 2035.
“This is a clear signal to anyone wondering what the future of air travel is – it will be low-emission, it will be sustainable, and it will be powered by sustainable aviation fuel.” said Chris Cooper, Vice President for Renewable Aviation at Neste North America. “The FAA expects more than 1.3 billion Americans will board an aircraft in 2040. This milestone shows that Neste is ready to play its part to help the aviation industry plan for and create a sustainable future where we can keep these people flying with a much, much smaller carbon footprint.”
This pioneering success drives a change in the aviation industry to make the SAF supply chain more climate-friendly and further reducing the industry’s carbon footprint.
A Pioneering Partnership to Accelerate the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel
In 2018, SFO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Neste and a group of eight airlines and fuel producers to expand the use of SAF at the airport. The agreement was the first of its kind to include fuel suppliers, airlines, and airport agencies in a collaborative effort to accelerate the global transition to SAF.
“This is a major milestone in our goal to make SFO a hub for the use of sustainable aviation fuel in our pursuit of carbon neutrality,” said SFO Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “By focusing on the entire supply chain process, achievements like this one have the power to transform the landscape of our entire industry. I am grateful for our partnership with Neste to make this climate quantum leap a reality.”
The deal is part of SFO’s five-year strategic plan of becoming a “triple zero” campus, achieving not just carbon neutrality but also net zero energy and zero waste. This is also in addition to the airport’s goal of being an operator of healthy and water-balanced facilities.