Essar subsidiary Stanlow Terminals is to provide storage and logistics services for a new £600 million (€687.8 million) sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plant to be built near Ellesmere Port, UK.
Essar Oil UK, which operates Stanlow Refinery, and Fulcrum BioEnergy, based in California, US, have teamed up with Stanlow Terminals to develop the waste-to-energy biorefinery, Fulcrum NorthPoint, which will produce 100 million L of low carbon SAF annually, from non-recyclable household waste. The fuel has around 70% lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional aviation fuel, and around 90% lower particulate emissions. It will be destined for airlines operating at UK airports.
Fulcrum will construct, own and operate the plant, its first outside the US, while Essar will assist with blending and supplying the SAF to airlines. Essar’s, Fulcrum’s and Stanlow Terminals’ assets will be fully integrated. The terminal will provide dedicated tank capacity for storage and blending, and will use its direct pipeline access to pump and transport the SAF to UK airports through the Manchester Jet Line and the UK Oil Pipeline network (UKOP).
The plant will use Fulcrum’s waste-to-fuel process. A prepared municipal solid waste (MSW) feedstock is gasified to produce synthesis gas, or syngas. This is passed over a proprietary catalyst in a Fischer-Tropsch process, to form a liquid product which can be converted in aviation fuel. Heat from the process is used to generate electricity for the plant to lower its carbon footprint and the cost of production. The fuel does not require changes to aircraft or airport infrastructure. The process will also be deployed at the company’s plant in Reno, Nevada, US, which is due to start up later in 2021. Fulcrum NorthPoint is expected to be operational in late 2025, subject to planning consent.
Essar says that the SAF project forms part of its wider plans to build a green energy at Stanlow and contribute to the UK government’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution.
‘This landmark announcement of our partnership with Fulcrum after our first year of operations is an excellent example of why Stanlow Terminals Limited was established. By offering efficient low carbon logistics solutions to develop third party business we support diversification of the traditional refinery business and become a fundamental part of the UK drive to become carbon neutral,’ says Stanlow Terminals CEO Patrick Walters.
Jeff Ovens, managing director, UK & Europe Fulcrum, adds: ‘We are excited to be announcing this project, located within one of the UK’s most important energy producing assets, which will help reduce the burden on landfills and industry’s reliance on fossil fuels. Utilising the world class facilities available at Essar, including the impressive jet fuel storage facility at Stanlow Terminals Limited and direct pipeline to UK airports, Fulcrum, along with its current and future investors, will be able to build and operate its facility more efficiently and sets the ‘gold standard’ for SAF production by fully integrating its new, low carbon fuel technology directly within an existing refinery.’