Consultations launched on plans for aviation fuel plant
Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter
Consultations have been launched for the creation of a major new industrial plant producing commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel.
US firm LanzaTech secured £25m from the UK Government’s Advanced Fuel Fund in 2022 to deliver the project as part of its efforts to reach the 2050 net carbon zero target.
If approved, developers say the site based in Port Talbot Docks could create around 100 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel per year, by using an alcohol-to-jet facility which would transform by-products of gases produced in the making of steel into fuel.
It is also expected that the site could create over 150 full-time jobs for the area if given the go-ahead by council bosses, including 85 jobs on-site with more business created further down the supply chain.
The report published ahead of the consultation read: “LanzaTech is planning to build pioneering carbon recycling facilities in and around Port Talbot to convert industrial emissions into sustainable aviation fuel.
It says Project Dragon will reduce emissions from industry and help to deliver lower-emission flying.
“Building on the area’s industrial strength, the facilities will enable Neath Port Talbot to play a leading role in creating carbon reduction industries and high skilled jobs in South Wales that are critical to delivering the UK’s net zero economy and tackling the climate emergency.”
The company has now begun a pre-application consultation for local people to give their views on the proposals before a formal planning application is submitted to Neath Port Talbot Council later this year.
The public consultation will run between August 14 and September 13 before the application goes before planning. If approved, the construction of the facility would aim to begin sometime in the winter of 2024, with the facility then expected to start production of fuel in 2026. Once operational, plans say the processing facility would be operational 24 hours a day, for 365 days a year.
Jim Woodger, managing director of LanzaTech UK said: “The production of sustainable aviation fuel in Port Talbot moves a step closer today with the launch of our pre-application consultation. Our plans contribute to a green industrial renaissance in Port Talbot providing around 150 high quality jobs into the future.
“We have also taken care to ensure our proposal minimises impacts on the town such as by rejuvenating the wharf to ship SAF from the site to reduce traffic; installing a ground flare to minimise noise and the appearance of the site; and to minimising air pollution releases so these make a negligible contribution to local air pollution.
“LanzaTech will be a responsible neighbour and we are looking forward to sharing our updated proposals with the local community and hearing its views in coming weeks.”
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