Enerkem, Shell Pivot to Bio-Jet Fuel as Demand Set to Soar

This article first appeared on the BNEF mobile app and the Bloomberg Terminal.

  • Project partners change course to prioritize aviation
  • 75% of plant’s capacity could be clean jet fuel

The prospect of growing demand for clean aviation fuel is capturing the attention of producers, encouraging some to change course and prioritize the sector.

In June, partners Enerkem, a Canadian bio-products firm, and oil major Shell, announced plans to adapt an existing project to make waste-to-jet fuel, instead of chemicals, as originally intended.

The Rotterdam plant will convert household waste into renewable fuel and could be operational by 2025. According to Enerkem, 75% of its output could be sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which equates to 20 million gallons per year.

The pivot towards producing SAF reflects growing confidence in the nascent sector, which has historically struggled with high costs and a lack of policy support. But this looks set to change as a growing number of governments, airports and airlines set targets that will help shore up demand.

Based on existing policy and airline commitments, SAF demand could grow 200-fold to 3.6 billion gallons per year by 2030, or 3% of global jet fuel demand.

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