Z to participate in RFP process for Sustainable Aviation Fuel production

Sustainability October 1, 2021

Air New Zealand and MBIE have announced it will look to find an operator for a commercial Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) plant in New Zealand. Their signed Memorandum of Understanding to run a closed RFP process will invite leaders in innovation to demonstrate the feasibility of operating a SAF plant at a commercial scale. Z Energy commends the step and intends to participate in this process.

For Z this is another opportunity to move forward on their journey to a low carbon future, says Z Energy GM Strategy and Risk, Nicolas Williams. “Z is committed to be part of the solution to climate change. We know that the way we're using the planet's resources simply isn't sustainable and we must look for alternative solutions.”

The aviation sector is a big contributor to New Zealand’s overall emissions with five million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent produced in 2018 from domestic and international aviation. While electric, hybrid and hydrogen aircrafts are coming and could work in New Zealand domestically, SAF is the only current option for decarbonising medium and long-haul flights.

“We support and recognise the need for SAF to become the norm in New Zealand. It is part of Z’s roadmap for providing low-emission fuels that can help our customers decarbonize their operation,” says Nicolas.

In 2018 Z began working with industry partners, including Air New Zealand, to identify the near-term pathways (5-10 years) for the viable and sustainable commercialisation of aviation biofuels in New Zealand. Last year, as part of a SAF Consortium, Z worked to develop a Roadmap for SAF to 2050 – which shows that there is a viable pathway for standing up a SAF industry locally.

“Z has consistently advocated for policy that would enable and incentivise the local production of SAF, both as a company as well as part of a consortium. We believe public and private sector collaboration will be vital to driving tangible outcomes in this space, as has been the case for successful SAF production in other countries,” continues Nicolas.

“The use of SAF could reduce aircraft emissions by over 80% for every litre used, and it’s production in New Zealand would create jobs in our regions, benefit our regional and national economies, improve our security of supply and position New Zealand as a science and innovation hub.

“We are excited at the momentum we are now seeing on SAF, particularly with this feasibility study and look forward to responding to the RFP,” says Nicolas.