Virgin Australia, Brisbane Airport and SkyNRG have announced plans for a feasibility study into establishing a “bioport” at Brisbane Airport, with the aim of allowing aircraft to be fuelled with sustainable biofuels.
A memorandum of understanding will see the three parties undertake a feasibility study, expected to take 12 months, which “will involve researching the locally available feedstocks in Queensland, sustainable and cost-effective methods for transporting them and the most appropriate technology for converting them into biofuel”, according to a statement released last week.
Said Dirk Kronemeijer, managing director of biofuels company SkyNRG: “We strongly believe in Australia as potentially one of the best places in the world for developing sustainable jet fuels. We are therefore very pleased that our first announced bioport outside Europe is going to be in Australia. We will do whatever it takes to turn this into a success by developing a local supply chain for sustainable jet fuel that is one day scalable and affordable.”
Virgin Australia says the bioport could contribute to its goal of using five per cent of its jetfuels from renewable sources from 2020.
“South-East Queensland is an ideal base for this project because it is one of our largest hubs and hosts many potential sustainably harvested feedstocks for biofuel, including woody weeds, crop residues and bagasse,” noted Virgin Australia chief operating officer Sean Donohue.