Renewable fuels and biochemicals company Aemetis announced a new offtake agreement with Delta Air Lines for the delivery of 250 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over 10 years. Deliveries are slated to begin in 2024, and the value of the agreement is estimated to be more than $1 billion.

Air transport has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years as a significant contributor to GHG emissions, accounting for an estimated 2% of global GHG emissions. SAF is seen by market participants as one of the key tools for the industry to address its emissions impact, as it generates 80% less lifecycle carbon emissions than conventional jet fuel. SAF is generally produced from sustainable resources, like waste oils and agricultural residues, or even from carbon captured from the air, rather than from fossil fuels.

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The announcement follows the announcement last year by Delta of its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. The company has also set a target to replace 10% of its conventional jet fuel consumption with SAF by the end of 2030.

Amelia DeLuca, Delta’s Managing Director of Sustainability, said:

“When Delta committed to being carbon neutral, we also committed to continued investment and collaboration with others in the industry. This supply agreement is an important step toward the expansion of SAF, which is not only important in helping us achieve our net-zero aviation goals, but also in supporting our customers to achieve their own sustainability goals.”

The SAF is expected to be produced by Aemetis’ renewable jet/diesel plant under development in Riverbank, California. The plant is powered by 100% renewable electricity and utilizes cellulosic hydrogen made from carbon-negative waste wood.

Eric McAfee, Chairman, and CEO of Aemetis, said:

“The 90 million gallon per year Aemetis Carbon Zero sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel plant under development in two phases in Riverbank, California is designed to produce below zero carbon intensity renewable fuels by utilizing cellulosic hydrogen from waste forest and orchard wood along with onsite CO2 carbon sequestration capacity.” 

The announcement follows another recent $1 billion SAF agreement signed last month by JetBlue for 670 million gallons of blended SAF delivered to JetBlue by bioenergy developer SG Preston.