In a move to help Australian aviation transition to net zero emissions, Qantas has signed a sustainable fuel deal with US biofuels company Aemetis. 

Qantas said that Aemetis will supply almost 20 million liters of blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) each year for Qantas flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Australia, starting in 2025.

The sustainable fuel will be produced at Aemetis’ plant currently under development in Riverbank, California. It will come from certified feedstock from waste products that is then blended with normal jet fuel.

This is the Australian carrier’s second offshore purchase of SAF. In December 2021, the airline announced that starting January 2022, it will purchase blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from bp for all flights out of London.  

Qantas said that it is pursuing a number of additional deals to add more SAF in the US and other international airports. The airline is also aiming to be net carbon neutral by 2050 and will outline an interim by the end of March 2022.

“We’re actively looking to source sustainable aviation fuel for our operations, and the deal we’re announcing today is hopefully one of many we’ll make as the market catches up to demand globally,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.

“At the moment we can only buy sustainable fuels offshore. The US, UK and Europe have industries that have developed with a lot of government support because this is a new field and the long term benefits for those countries are obvious.”

“Qantas has already committed $50 million to support the development of a SAF industry in Australia, and we’d be its biggest customer. As well as the environmental and economic benefits, a local SAF industry would reduce the nation’s dependence on imported fuels.

For now, SAF is more expensive than traditional fossil fuels but with the right investment it could grow to a scale where the cost is on par,” added Joyce.

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Qantas has signed a partnership with multinational oil and gas company bp to use sustainable aviation fuel for its flights out of London