Air Products, World Energy and Honeywell have unveiled plans to build what they say will be the world’s first commercial scale and North America’s only sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility, featuring a new hydrogen plant, in Paramount, California.

Scheduled to be onstream in 2025, the $2bn development will take place at World Energy’s production and distribution hub in the sunshine state and will mark a key milestone in both the energy transition and the decarbonisation of aviation.

As part of the agreement, Air Products has extended its Southern California hydrogen pipeline network to supply hydrogen to the World Energy facility and to further increase supply reliability for its Southern Californian customers.

Speaking on the project plans, Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO of Air Products, said, “This project is another pioneering moment in Air Products’ commitment to help support the energy transition.”

“We are already building the world’s largest green hydrogen facility with our partners in Saudi Arabia and the world’s largest blue hydrogen facility in Louisiana. Now we are teaming up with the World energy to build North America’s largest SAF facility.”

Ghasemi continued, “We are very pleased to be working with World Energy, enabling another US megaproject that will provide measurable sustainability benefits and advance California’s decarbonisation goals by producing a renewable fuel to meet the growing demands of the aviation industry.”

SAF produced by World Energy is a 100% sustainable fuel made entirely of renewable resources and contains no fossil-based feedstock. The fuel is no co-processed with fossil fuels in traditional oil refineries and its carbon attributes comply with all state as US federal regulations for advance biofuels.

Through the conversion of the former oil refinery site to the new SAF production hub, it is believe that, by 2050, the facility will produce fuels that will displace over 76 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of 3.8 million carbon-net-zero flights from Los Angeles to New York.

Eager to decarbonisation aviation through the collaboration, Gene Gebolys, CEO of World Energy, said, “Getting real about net-zero aviation is going to require the mobilisation of resources unlike anything that has ever come before.”

“We are pulling together the very best companies in the world with the expertise, experience, commitment and focus on collaborating to push the frontier of what can be done to decarbonise aviation today while building a platform for what needs to be done to decarbonise flight by 2050.”

Gebolys continued, “This is an immense undertaking. But it must be done, and it requires that we move with speed, collaboration and determination befitting the problem we aim to tackle.”

In addition to Air Products and World Energy, SAF technology innovator Honeywell will also play a pivotal role in the landmark development. Honeywell has been working with World Energy since 2013, but now will strengthen their relationship with a technical development agreement to advance the next generation of carbon reduction technologies.

With this, it is hoped the collaboration will further innovations integrating more efficient SAF production processes, new process pathways using new sustainable feedstocks, low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture technologies.

Bryan Glover, President and CEO, Honeywell UOP, said, “As one of the pioneers of the SAF market with Honeywell UOP Ecofining technology, our long-term engagement with World Energy continues to help transform the industry and support the goal of a significantly reducing CO2 emissions.” 

“Our participation in this project will not only allow World Energy to build one of the most technologically advanced SAF production and distribution hubs globally, it also helps accelerate the energy transition of the aviation industry.”