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UK Government Invests £9 Million in British Airways' Sustainable Aviation Fuel Project

Project Speedbird is part of a larger initiative,

UK Government Invests £9 Million in British Airways’ Sustainable Aviation Fuel Project

British Airways’ ambitious initiative, Project Speedbird, has secured a substantial £9 million boost from the UK government’s Advanced Fuels Fund (AFF) competition. This significant funding injection propels the project closer to its goal of establishing a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility in Teesside by 2027, marking a crucial milestone in the airline’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

In collaboration with specialist firms Nova Pangaea Technologies and LanzaJet, Project Speedbird envisions the use of agricultural waste and wood residue as feedstocks to create SAF, emphasizing a commitment to eco-friendly alternatives.

Carrie Harris, BA’s Director of Sustainability, expressed gratitude for the government’s investment, stating, “The UK has the potential to become a leader in the production of SAF, and this pioneering project is one step closer to this becoming a reality and a big moment for British Airways and UK SAF production more generally.”

The project aims to produce an impressive 102 million liters of SAF annually from 2028, resulting in a significant reduction of 230,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year—an impact equivalent to approximately 26,000 domestic flights.

The announcement of this latest government funding follows recent investments from both BA and its parent company IAG earlier this summer, solidifying their commitment to sustainable aviation practices.

Project Speedbird is part of a larger initiative, with a total of £53 million allocated to nine SAF projects by the government on Friday (17 November). This collective effort aims to accelerate the production of SAF to meet the mandate requiring airlines to use at least 10% SAF for their flights by 2030.

Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, emphasized the importance of developing a UK SAF industry within this decade, asserting, “Delivering a UK SAF industry this decade is a must if we are to drive down emissions from aviation, meet our 10% SAF mandate, and reduce costs for consumers. We welcome this latest funding announcement, which will support a number of innovative projects across all parts of the UK.”