New research confirms UK potential to lead the world in sustainable aviation fuel production

  • Research identifies seven industrial clusters that could be home to up to 14 sustainable fuel production facilities in Teesside, Humberside, the North West, South Wales, Southampton, St Fergus and Grangemouth.
  • A UK sustainable aviation fuels industry could deliver around £3 billion in GVA and 20,200 jobs, with UK production saving 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2038 – an essential contributor to UK aviation reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and supporting post-COVID UK recovery.
  • Industry coalition Sustainable Aviation is calling on Government to back early facilities with £500m in the upcoming Spending Review.

New research by industry coalition Sustainable Aviation confirms that the UK could be home to up to 14 sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facilities in areas across the country, making it a world leader in clean aviation technology.

The research by energy consultancy E4tech and commissioned by Sustainable Aviation shows that these facilities could be based in seven clusters: Teesside, Humberside, the North West of England, South Wales, Southampton, St Fergus and Grangemouth, places with the right feedstocks and infrastructure to turn household, agricultural and industrial waste and renewable electricity into jet fuel. Through UK production and global exports of technology and expertise, a UK SAF industry could deliver £2.9 billion annually to the UK economy, creating 20,200 jobs in SAF production and export services, with UK production saving 3.6 million tonnes of COannually by 2038.

To get this nascent industry off the ground, Sustainable Aviation has called on the Government to commit to £500m of Government funding to support the essential commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuels, including £429m in Government-backed loan guarantees for the initial first-of-its-kind SAF production facilities, £50m in grants and development support for new SAF technologies, and £21m to establish a UK clearinghouse to enable SAF testing and approval.

SAF must play a major role in enabling the aviation industry to deliver its commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions for all departing flights by 2050. This pressing need is alongside airspace modernisation and exciting engine and aircraft technologies, such as electrification and hydrogen.

Adam Morton, Chair of Sustainable Aviation, said:

“Sustainable aviation fuels will be essential for the global aviation industry in a net-zero world, and the UK has a golden opportunity to become a world-leader by commercialising this technology at an early stage.

“There are enormous benefits in terms of jobs and growth across these clusters. By backing SAF in this way, Government can kickstart a green recovery, create high quality and futureproof jobs for thousands of people.  All of this can be delivered at the same time as slashing carbon emissions.”

– ENDS –


Notes to Editors

Contact information: or 0203 953 6664

About Sustainable Aviation:

Sustainable Aviation is the coalition of UK airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air navigation service providers committed to cutting aviation’s environmental impact and building a world-leading aviation sector.

More information on Sustainable Aviation can be found on their website here.

To read the CSR submission in full, please click here.

About Sustainable Aviation’s net zero commitment and Road-Maps:

To read more about Sustainable Aviation’s net zero commitment made in February 2020 please click here.

To download the full Decarbonisation Road-Map report please click here, and for an infographic summarising the key findings please click here.

To download the full Sustainable Aviation Fuels Road-Map report please click here, and for an infographic summarising the key findings please click here.

About SAF

Sustainable Aviation Fuels are produced from a range of feedstocks, from municipal waste to ethanol, and have carbon savings of up to 70% compared with fossil fuels.

Out of all available solutions to decarbonising aviation, SAF is market ready and requires no modifications to existing aircraft or refuelling infrastructure, and will remain an enduring low carbon solution for medium and long-haul flight.

For more information on Sustainable Aviation Fuels, see the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Road-Map here.

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