Boeing, South African Air to Make Jet Fuel From Tobacco

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) — Boeing Co. and South African Airways
are among a group of companies that today started a project to
turn tobacco plants into clean jet fuel.

The companies, along with SkyNRG and Sunchem SA, will use
the nicotine-free Solaris variety of tobacco plant to make clean
fuel that South African Airways will trial, they said in a joint
statement. Test flights may begin next year.

The project “will benefit the environment and public
health while providing new economic opportunities for South
Africa’s small farmers,” said Miguel Santos, Boeing’s managing
director for Africa. “This project also positions our valued
airline customer to gain a long-term, viable domestic fuel
supply.”

SAA wants the product to cater for an increasing proportion
of total fuel requirements by 2023, Ian Cruickshank, head of
environmental affairs, told reporters in Limpopo province,
northeast South Africa.

“We are looking at between 400 to 500 million liters per
annum, so it’s a fairly significant amount of fuel that we
actually want to produce,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Louise Downing in London at
ldowning4@bloomberg.net;
Tshepiso Mokhema in Johannesburg at
tmokhema1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
John Bowker, John Viljoen

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