British Airways Airbus A321 taking off, Heathrow, UK, 08 April 2010 (Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

A plant that will convert waste products into aviation fuel has received £1 billion in funding from its Saudi Arabian owners. The facilities will be based in Teesside, in the north of England.


What is the Lighthouse Green Fuels Project?

The Lighthouse Green Fuels project is a factory that will convert household waste into fuel for aviation. The project is owned by the Saudi Arabian construction company, Alfanar (“Lighthouse” in Arabic) who are aiming to be the first major producer of sustainable aviation fuel in the UK

Teesside Airport
Teesside Airport, UK | © Ben Houchen

When the plant is completed, it will produce 180 million litres of fuel a year. To put this in perspective, a single airline might use 150 million litres annually, so whilst this is a solid step in the right direction, there is still a lot more work to be done in the field of green aviation. Alfanar claims that the fuel coming out of its facilities has the potential to produce 80% fewer emissions than fossil-fuel-based equivalents.


Hopes for the future

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has welcomed the Alfanar’s investment in the region, as it’s in line with his plans to make Teesside Airport “The UK’s first hydrogen-ready airport”. The Mayor said:

 “Alfanar’s commitment to the region and its workers is fantastic to see, with hundreds of high-quality, well-paid jobs set to come for people right across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

It also ties into our ambitions to make Teesside Airport the UK’s first hydrogen-ready airport, and an early adopter of these sustainable aviation fuels.

Critically, at a point where we need to be thinking outside of the box to cut down on traditional jet fuel emissions to keep our aviation sector soaring, this investment and innovative project will help us become a pioneer in the aviation fuels of the future.”

The Saudi investors have said that 700 new jobs will be created in the construction of the plant, and that there will be 240 jobs available once it is operational.

What are your thoughts on the new green aviation fuel plant? Let us know in the comments below!


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