Teesside set for world’s biggest waste-to-SAF plant

A new £1.5bn Teesside plant that will convert up to one million tonnes of household waste into jet fuel each year is planned to be operational in 2028.

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Known as the Lighthouse Green Fuels project, it is being developed by Dutch waste-to-fuel specialist N+P alongside Saudi conglomerate Alfanar. The partners are actively seeking waste sources from around the UK and will build a number of processing facilities based on where those sources are located. These satellite plants will convert non-recyclable household waste into high-carbon content pellets, with the pellets then used to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at Alfanar’s Lighthouse Green Fuels facility in Teesside.

According to the partners, the project will require the equivalent amount of rubbish produced by Birmingham and the wider West Midland Metropolitan Area each year. This feedstock will produce 165 million litres of SAF - equivalent to 2,500 long-haul flights or 25,000 short-haul flights – and around 10 per cent of the UK’s 2030 SAF target.

“Our new partnership with Alfanar enables us to take non-recyclable household and commercial waste and convert it into pellets, which can then be used to produce sustainable aviation fuel,” said Lars Jennissen, chief development officer, N+P Group. “We maximise the usage of these materials which have already had a life in the value chain.

“We are now actively looking to secure long-term waste supply contracts with waste companies and local councils from across the UK for this project, for what will be Europe’s biggest waste processing facility by tonnage. Next to this we aim to develop at least three new production facilities in the country in the next two years.”

According to Alfanar’s Noaman Al Adhami, who leads the company’s newly established UK operation, the Lighthouse Green Fuels plant will benefit from carbon capture technology being developed at Teesside's industrial cluster, alongside other advantages the UK provides.

“With the third largest aviation network in the world, a third of Europe’s carbon storage capacity, and readily available waste feedstock, the UK is perfectly positioned to be a world leader in SAF production,” he said.

“Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) delivers 80 per cent greenhouse gas lifecycle emissions savings compared to conventional kerosene, but fuel produced at our facility will deliver up to 200 per cent savings with access to Teesside’s Carbon Capture and Storage infrastructure. This means Lighthouse Green Fuels will not only be the biggest SAF production facility in the UK when operational, but the UK’s first negative emissions SAF project, and therefore a critical contributor to the UK government’s 2030 SAF targets.”