British Airways and Iberia parent IAG is investing in a UK-based firm developing processes to produce bioethanol for sustainable biofuel, sourced from non-food agricultural waste and wood residue.
The firm, Nova Pangaea Technologies, is developing a UK waste-to-fuel production facility called NovaOne, but has ambitions to expand to the other side of the Atlantic.
IAG is co-operating with Nova Pangaea and fuel specialist LanzaJet on an initiative, ‘Project Speedbird’, to develop cost-effective sustainable fuel for commercial use.
The NovaOne facility will be situated in Teesside, on the Wilton industrial site near Middlesbrough.
“Our facility will be the UK’s first commercial plant of its kind, but we also see enormous potential in the North American market,” says Nova Pangaea chief Sarah Ellerby.
IAG chief Luis Gallego says sustainable fuel is the “only realistic option” for long-haul carriers to decarbonise.
“We are not just buying [sustainable fuel], we are willing to invest in developing the industry,” he adds. “But we need governments in the UK and Europe to act now to encourage further investment.”
Neither IAG nor Nova Pangaea has disclosed the extent of the investment, although it is described as “significant” by the fuel firm.
It states that the investment follows previous commitments by IAG covering $865 million for sustainable fuel programmes.
Nova Pangaea says the North American region play an “important role” in delivering global sustainable fuel supplies.