Solena Fuels is to build the innovative GreenSky facility at the Thames Enterprise Park, in place of the former Coryton oil refinery site in Thurrock.
The company is working with British Airways (BA) to provide the fuel for BA's London City Airport flights.
It has been estimated that around 575,000 tonnes of waste will be converted into synthetic gas and then into 120,000 tonnes of clean liquid fuel instead of being landfilled or incinerated.
Construction is due to start in a year’s time and the plant is expected to be fully operational by 2017.
Barclays will be acting as financial adviser to the GreenSky project. Gabriel Buck, head of CAPEX financing solutions, said: “This is undoubtedly a unique and ground-breaking project. The economic and environmental fundamentals will, we believe, be attractive to investors from both a debt and equity perspective.”
The aviation industry is a big contributor to climate change, and its greenhouse gas emissions are predicted to rise with an annually increasing demand for flights due to the rapidly expanding global middle-class.
According to the European commission, by 2020, global international aviation emissions will increase by around 70% from 2005 levels, even taking into account the expected energy efficiency.
Therefore, UK environmentalists and aviation officials are hoping that sustainable jet fuel – which can be mixed with traditional fuel – will help to reduce industry’s increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, said: “We are always striving to reduce our impact on climate change and this first-of-its-kind project marks a significant step for the aviation industry.
“The construction of the GreenSky London fuel facility at Thames Enterprise Park will lay the foundations for British Airways to reduce its carbon emissions significantly.
“The sustainable jet fuel produced each year will be enough to power our flights from London City Airport twice over with carbon savings the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.”
Leading airlines such as Virgin Atlantic Airways and Qatar Airways have already expressed their interest in buying eco-friendly fuel.
The plans for the world’s first waste-to-jet fuel plant comes two weeks ahead of the 2014 Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva.
Photo Source: BBC