Fuel-from-dead-plastics converter Velocys is accepting up to £2.4 million as a government prize to advance its low-carbon jet fuel.  

The Oxford University spin-off told investors today its AltAlto collaboration with British Airways has qualified it for an initial £1.2 million from the Department of Transport’s Green Fuels, Green Skies competition.  

The programme was launched in March as part of the Johnson administration’s Ten Point Plan for a green recovery.  Entries closed in May.   

AltAlto takes end-of-life plastics and converts them into clean aviation fuel. The two companies position their yet-to-be-built facility on Humberside as being Europe’s first production plant for plastics-derived avgas at commercial scale.   

The plant is slated to convert hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year of residual waste into sustainable fuels, mainly aviation fuel.

Planning consent for the Immingham site was granted in 2020. The project is ready to proceed to the final stages of engineering prior to construction, subject to third-party funding for the project.

A doubling of today’s £1.2m award may follow, subject to the Department of Transport hardening up details of Whitehall’s plan for sustainable aviation fuel. Velocys has previously received grants totalling £934,000 from the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight (F4C) competition, the predecessor to Green Fuels, Green Skies.

Velocys CEO Henrik Wareborn was happy. “We are very pleased to have this enhanced level of support from the Department for Transport for the AltAlto project. 

“The momentum for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in the UK and around the world is growing, demonstrated here by the recent consultations on the path to net zero aviation and on a SAF mandate. This grant demonstrates that the AltAlto project is a key part of the strategy to accelerate a SAF industry in the UK.”

British Airways chairman and CEO Sean Doyle echoed the airline’s “delight”.  

“This project is critical in helping us to drive forward the development of sustainable aviation fuel in the UK. 

Doyle noted that BA’s parent company IAG was the first European airline group to commit to powering 10% of its flights with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030, buying one million tonnes of SAF each year, the equivalent to taking a million cars off Europe’s roads every year. 


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