Cathay Pacific Airways announced a strategic investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy, and negotiated a long-term supply agreement with Fulcrum for an initial 375 million US gallons of sustainable aviation fuel over 10 years (representing on an annual basis approximately 2% of the airline’s current fuel consumption) that meets all the airline’s technical requirements and specifications.
Fulcrum plans to commence construction of its first commercial plant later this year and to build large scale, waste-to-renewable jet fuel plants at multiple locations, including locations strategic to the Cathay Pacific network, primarily in North America
Cathay Pacific Airways is a Hong Kong-based airline serving more than 180 destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and Africa. Dragonair is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, and the airline also has a 60% stake in AHK Air Hong Kong Ltd, an all-cargo carrier operating regional express freight services.
Fulcrum’s process utilizes a steam-reforming gasification system manufactured and licensed by ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. (TRI) and a Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquids technology licensed from Emerging Fuels Technology to convert municipal solid waste (MSW) into synthetic paraffinic kerosene (SPK) jet fuel and diesel.
Fulcrum has incorporated these technologies in a fully integrated process demonstration plant and has proven and demonstrated that this process will efficiently and economically convert MSW to low-carbon fuels.
Fulcrum uses the heat created by the process to generate electricity for the plant, not only lowering the cost of production, but also shrinking the carbon footprint. The technology is engineered to be modular and scalable to meet the needs of our markets, from a 10 million gallon per year plant to a 60 million gallon per year plant.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “We are very pleased to become the first airline investor in this sustainable biofuel developer. We are well aware of the impact the aviation industry has on the environment and have been doing a great deal to minimize our own impact. We are pleased to have identified Fulcrum as a strategic business partner that has the necessary vision and technological know-how to help Cathay Pacific pursue the use of biojet fuels. These fuels are an important component of our sustainable development strategy, under which we aim to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020.”
Cathay Pacific Biofuel Manager Jeff Ovens added that “Fulcrum has successfully demonstrated a process of converting municipal solid waste feedstock into sustainable aviation fuel at its scale demonstration facility. The feedstock will be pre-sorted to remove any recyclables prior to being processed into fuels. The company has proved that its technology is viable and has supply commitments in place for feedstock needed for the fuel production. These supply commitments will cover both near-term and future developments.”
Fulcrum BioEnergy CEO Jim Macias commented: “We value our strategic relationship with Cathay Pacific, one of the world’s premier airlines. Cathay Pacific shares our vision and plan to bring a whole new source of sustainable fuel to the airline industry. A new fuel that has the exact same molecules as fossil fuel but is cleaner, lower in carbon, renewable and lower cost than traditional fossil fuels. Cathay Pacific is really stepping up to help accelerate deliveries of this fuel to the market. This relationship adds to Fulcrum’s existing feedstock, technology and fuel off-take partners that enhance Fulcrum’s low-cost business model for the production and sale of large volumes of low-carbon, jet fuel.”