JetBlue has made a strong commitment to sustainable aviation, signing the largest renewable jet fuel purchase agreement in aviation history with bioenergy company SG Preston.
The ten-year agreement is the largest, long-term, bidding commitment by any airline around the world for renewable jet fuel using HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids), produced from plant oils.
JetBlue would use a blend of 30% renewable and 70% traditional Jet-A fuel. It is expected to produce 50% fewer greenhouse gas emissions per gallon than pure Jet-A. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved this renewable jet fuel as safe for use.
In its blended form, the total amount of renewable jet fuel the airline would buy is approximately 20% of its annual fuel consumption at New York’s JFK international airport, the airline states.
As part of the new purchasing agreement, JetBlue will buy 33 million gallons of blended jet fuel per year for at least ten years.
“The future of aviation relies in part on renewable energy sources. We’re taking a leadership role in technology and other advancements including renewable jet fuels,” says Robin Hayes, president and CEO, JetBlue. “JetBlue is preparing for a world where we must reduce our production of greenhouse gases…This is just one step of many in our work towards a lower carbon future.”
Renewable jet fuel is key to JetBlue’s environmental strategy and in support of announcement to cap net greenhouse gas growth from 2020 onward.
“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 percent 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,” says JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes.
JetBlue was the only airline to sign the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge, in support of an international climate agreement for a low-carbon future, and began exploring renewable jet fuel available for commercial use this year.
JetBlue also intends to supply the renewable jet fuel to New York-metropolitan area airports.
“This strategic relationship with JetBlue is a continuation of SG Preston’s commitment to develop reliable products from renewable resources at commercial scale and volume for stakeholders who recognise renewable has transcended buzzword status and is a critical component of responsible growth,” says Randy Delbert LeTang, SG Preston founder, chief executive officer and president. “Our strategy is to address the demand versus supply gaps in the industry and align development and delivery mechanisms to meet our customers’ demand in the least disruptive way.”
This type of renewable fuel was also qualified it for use through industry evaluations in 2011, as part of the alternative fuels approval process of ASTM International which sets standards for fuels used in aviation.
More than 2,200 commercial revenue flights by 22 airlines have already flown using various types of renewable jet fuel and many have used the HEFA-SPK fuel SG Preston will supply to JetBlue.