Qantas in biofuel plant talks

Australian airline Qantas is said to be on the brink of signing a deal to build a biofuel plant in Australia to power its aircraft. Qantas is in talks with […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Australian airline Qantas is said to be on the brink of signing a deal to build a biofuel plant in Australia to power its aircraft.

Qantas is in talks with US-based company Solena, which is also in negotiations with easyJet, Ryanair and Aer Lingus about building a similar facility in Dublin.

Solena last year clinched a deal with British Airways to build the world’s first commercial-scale biojet fuel plant in London.

Due to be operational in 2014, the £200bn London plant will convert up to 500,000 tonnes of waste a year into 16m gallons of green jet fuel, which BA said would be enough to power 2% of its aircraft at Heathrow.

The waste will come from food scraps and other household material such as grass and tree cuttings, agricultural and industrial waste.

British Airways’ chief executive Willie Walsh said: “This unique partnership with Solena will pave the way for realising our ambitious goal of reducing net carbon emissions by 50% by 2050. We believe it will lead to the production of a real sustainable alternative to jet kerosene. We are absolutely determined to reduce our impact on climate change and are proud to lead the way on aviation’s environmental initiatives.”

Airlines are trying to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels ahead of their entry into the EU’s carbon emissions trading scheme in a year’s time. Under the scheme, any airline flying in or out of the EU must cut emissions or pay a penalty.