Cathay Pacific announced today the signing of an offtake agreement with Aemetis for the supply of 38 million US gallons of blended Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to be delivered over seven years beginning in 2025 from San Francisco International Airport.
The Hong Kong flag carrier said the SAF purchased can reduce more than 80,000 tonnes of lifecycle carbon emissions, equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by more than 1.3 million tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
"Cathay Pacific continues to reaffirm its commitment to addressing climate change despite these challenging times. In the past few years, we have announced our carbon net-zero by 2050 target and our goal of achieving 10% use of SAF by 2030. In doing this, we have built a robust SAF procurement strategy to help meet our goals," said Augustus Tang, Cathay's chief executive officer.
"We are pleased that this agreement with Aemetis will contribute to that effort, and we hope it will also send the right signal to the SAF industry to encourage the much-needed investment and scaling up of its supply chain," Tang added.
Cathay noted that the agreement is part of the joint procurement initiative for SAF by the oneworld alliance, of which Cathay Pacific is a founding member.
The blended SAF to be supplied under this agreement is 40% SAF and 60% Petroleum Jet A-1 fuel to meet international blending standards.
The SAF will be produced at the Aemetis Carbon Zero plant currently under development in Riverbank, California.
The carrier noted that the facility will use waste wood to produce cellulosic hydrogen, and combine it with wastes and non-edible sustainable oils. It will then be converted into SAF using carbon-neutral hydroelectricity.
Cathay said it is scheduled to begin deliveries to Cathay Pacific in 2025.
SAF provides significant environmental benefits compared to petroleum jet fuel, including up to 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis, depending on the technology used.
It is a vital solution in the decarbonisation of aviation over the next few decades, especially for long-haul flights.
For his part, Eric McAfee, Aemetis chairman and CEO, said the use of SAF by Cathay Pacific is another step by the oneworld Alliance towards lowering the environmental impact of aviation.
"Sustainable Aviation Fuel is an immediate solution to the decarbonisation of air travel and cargo flights, without requiring extensive new fuelling infrastructure or the expensive replacement of planes," McAfee said.