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Black & Veatch to Advance Carbon-Neutral Aviation in Australia, New Zealand

Media Release

The company joins Bioenergy Australia’s alliance as a $30 million fund is announced for sustainable aviation fuel development.

MELBOURNE: Black & Veatch, a global leader in critical infrastructure solutions, has joined Bioenergy Australia’s (BA) Sustainable Aviation Fuel Alliance of Australia and New Zealand (SAFAANZ).

BA is a national industry association, with over 150 members, committed to accelerating Australia’s bio-economy. BA founded the SAFAANZ to create a collaborative environment to advance SAF production, policy, education and marketing in Australia and New Zealand.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is produced by processing renewable sources such as waste cooking oil, plant oils and agricultural residues for use in commercial airplanes. The fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to traditional jet fuel.

“Electrification is essential for many pillars of the energy system. Yet, it is only part of the solution to reducing emissions. Australia’s heavy industries, aviation, marine, agriculture and mining need affordable and immediate decarbonisation options, such as renewable fuel. We are excited to work with industry leaders, like Black & Veatch, to identify pathways to produce the fuel affordably and at scale,’’ Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie said.

“As well as decarbonising the aviation sector, sustainable fuels will decarbonise all transportation forms – people and goods. Joining SAFAANZ means Black & Veatch can meaningfully contribute to the advancement of sustainable fuels in Australia and New Zealand, given our extensive global engineering and construction experience across aviation fuel, methanol to gasoline, biogas and renewable natural gas,” said Mick Scrivens, Vice President, Director, Australia Pacific, Black & Veatch.

About 2.5 per cent of the world’s total carbon emissions are generated by the global aviation sector. In Australia, the industry accounts for about 1 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that SAF could contribute around 65 per cent of the reduction in emissions needed by aviation to reach net zero in 2050.

Presently, demand for SAF exceeds its supply. Australia, with abundant residue resources, agriculture and waste, has strong potential to meet both domestic and global SAF supply needs.

To realize its potential, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) set aside $30 million (US$20 million) in July to facilitate the development of a SAF industry with production from renewable feedstocks available locally. The Sustainable Aviation Fuels Funding Initiative will assess opportunities across the supply chain from renewable feedstock supply to final fuel production, identifying their requirements to enable and scale a domestic SAF industry.

The wider deployment of SAF will be supported by overcoming barriers, including affordability, competition for feedstocks, sustainability, airport infrastructure and cost-effective scaling of production.

About Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is a 100% employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2022 were US$4.3 billion. Follow us on and on social media.

About Bioenergy Australia

Bioenergy Australia (BA) is the national industry association, with over 150 members, committed to accelerating Australia’s bio-economy. Our mission is to foster the bioenergy sector to generate jobs, secure investment, maximise the value of local resources, minimise waste and environmental impact, and develop and promote national bioenergy expertise into international markets.

Bioenergy Australia works with the Renewable Gas Alliance (RGA), Sustainable Aviation Fuel Alliance of Australia and New Zealand (SAFAANZ) and the Cleaner Fuels Alliance (CFA). These alliances were founded to accelerate the development and deployment of Renewable Liquid Fuels and Biomethane for deployment in Australia.


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  1. Canguro

    Sorry to spoil the party, but the recent conflagrations razing landscapes and properties across the Mediterranean and other northern hemisphere locations seem to suggest that incremental responses to the challenges posed by global warming are a classic case of too little, too late. The essay in today’s Guardian by Adam Morton, if read carefully and followed up with the embedded links, provides a sobering assessment of where we currently stand vis-a-vis the global warming crisis.

    I’m reminded of the comment of another contributor to these pages who said ‘it’s not over ’til the fat lady sings’. All well and good. But physics is physics, and also, science in the wider sense is about rigour and defensibility of the postulates, and as we face the current realities of the burning of the northern hemispheric landscapes, along with the broader ramifications that follow these current events, it’s hard to see a future that signifies a positive outcome for the human race, let alone the much more expansive ecosphere.

    I’m not a rabid fan of doom scrolling, but I do have an inherent preference for reality as opposed to something else; whether illusion, denial, fantasy, wishful thinking and so on. That the planet at large is facing this challenge to its ecosystems and biospherical integrity is beyond challenge; that the nay-sayers and their arguments that this is simply the utterances of a deluded and deranged minority of apocalyptic fantasists is beyond rational response. Nonetheless, I support the position of ‘never give up’. We must try to do whatever is within our means, in spite of the seemingly overwhelming odds.

  2. andyfiftysix

    Canguro, as much as i agree with you that we need big changes not incremental once, we shouldnt poo poo small ones.
    With this “brochure” filling up my laptop, i am filled with …………bemusement. It looks like, smells like green washing.
    Bioenergy is about as co2 friendly as my shit. We need a massive reduction in output, not a stand still “solution”.
    Its a complete line of BS taking co2 from the atmosphere to then burn it back into the atmosphere. About as smart as “gas lead recovery”.

  3. Barry

    Agree with both Canguro and andyfiftysix on a number of points. My radar also pinged ‘greenwashing’ in the SAF article. It smells a lot like CCS, Carbon Capture & Storage – another great theory that to date has not proven commercially viable anywhere in the world. Infrastructure-gov-au is working on an Aviation White Paper to examine issues such as “how to maximise the aviation sector’s contribution to achieving net zero carbon emissions, including through sustainable aviation fuel [SAF] and emerging technologies”.
    [infrastructure gov au /department/media/news/aviation-white-paper-provides-direction-our-aviation-future]
    The principle of refining wet waste from landfill to run jets reminds me of the true urban myth of people going fish shop to fish shop to pickup waste cooking oil to run their converted combi-van. It works but is it practical? When it comes to SAF jet fuel, research to date does not document how such fuel could meet ASTM International’s fuel property requirements.
    But wait, isn’t Infrastructure-gov-au also the gov hub requesting feedback on an exposure draft of the Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023?
    [Infrastructure gov au/have-your-say/new-acma-powers-combat-misinformation-and-disinformation]
    Who would have thought infrastructure-gov-au would juggle to concepts of freedom of speech and zero carbon jet fuel on the one site.
    Cool, who’s your daddy infrastructure-gov-au?

  4. Clakka

    ‘Brochure’ indeed. So much gravitas, so many anagrams, so much promotion, and a few (fluffy) statistics and hopes


    .. conundrums like ‘decarbonisation’ whilst still burning carboniferous fuels
    .. as reading on awaited scientific rationale – none present

    Hmmmm. For existing planes, incrementalism indeed. Short, medium, long-term cost / benefits of carboniferous SAFs vs hydrogen fuelled? What’s in the pipeline for the new era planes? There appears to be much gobbledegook persisting.

    Airbus – SAF Or Hydrogen? And If Both, Why?

  5. Douglas Pritchard

    We seem to have entered an era in this globes history when we are falling from the 100 storie building, and we are passing the 80th floor.
    “So far, so good, this its happening pretty quick, but I am sure there is a safety net down there somewhere”.
    There is something shockingly obvious about what is going to be the end result.
    Physicists know it, and there is an abundance of slow learners

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