British Airways, in partnership with the Solena Group, has announced plans to establish a sustainable jet-fuel plant and plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet beginning in 2014.

According to the company, the new fuel will be derived from waste biomass and manufactured in facility that can convert a variety of waste materials, destined for landfill, into aviation fuel.

The self-contained plant, likely to be sited in east London, will reportedly be able to convert 500,000 tons of waste per year into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel through a process that offers lifecycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 95 per cent compared to fossil-fuel derived jet kerosene.

British Airways says this volume of fuel would be more than twice the amount required to make all of the company’s flights at nearby London City Airport carbon-neutral.

The project will make further savings in greenhouse emissions by reducing the volume of waste sent to landfill, avoiding production of methane, and generating 20MW of electricity a year from renewable sources.

British Airways has signed a letter of intent to purchase all the fuel produced by the plant, which will be built by the Solena Group Inc., an advanced bio energy and bio fuels company based in Washington DC.

The scheme is expected to result in the creation of up to 1,200 jobs in the area and could reduce significantly local authority landfill tax bills.

Willie Walsh, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “This unique partnership with Solena will pave the way for realising our ambitious goal of reducing net carbon emissions by 50 per cent 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.”

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