Saltend Chemicals Park to get sustainable aviation fuel demonstrator plant

A sustainable aviation fuel demonstration plant is set to take shape at Saltend Chemicals Park thanks to a deal university spin-out OXCCU.

The Oxford-based firm, which is backed by the likes of United Airlines and Trafigura, is developing a process to turn carbon dioxide and hydrogen into hydrocarbons for use in fuels, plastics and chemicals. Following an agreement with Saltend owner px Group, OXCCU will set up a plant that is expected to produce 200 litres of liquid fuel per day, the majority of which will be sustainable aviation fuel.

It is being described as the first of its kind plant and will use the hydrogenation process which is fed by green hydrogen and biogenic carbon dioxide – that is CO2 produced by living organisms. The method is said to reduce a multi-stage process into a single step.

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Plans are in place to start production in 2026, with px Group providing the engineering design and construction of the ‘Outside Battery Limits’ part of the facility and maintenance when the plant is up and running.

Geoff Holmes, CEO of px Group, said: “We are truly excited to be working with OXCCU on a world’s first project that will shape the long-term sustainability of the UK aviation industry. At px Group we are passionate about cutting CO2 emissions and helping the UK to meet its sustainability ambitions.

“This groundbreaking project with OXCCU further meets this commitment and demonstrates the confidence in Saltend as a pioneering centre for industrial decarbonisation projects.”

Andrew Symes, CEO of OXCCU, said: “The strategic combination of OXCCU’s highly efficient novel catalyst and process with px Group’s world leading facilities creates the perfect environment for us to scale-up. This project will demonstrate CO2 and hydrogen directly converted into jet fuel-range hydrocarbons and the potential for much lower cost SAF. We look forward to working with px Group on this exciting step for the global aviation industry.”

The plant will follow Equinor’s 600MW hydrogen production plant getting planning permission earlier this year. The project is looking to become part of the Cluster Sequencing Track-1 Expansion process, which will select decarbonisation projects that connect to the East Coast Cluster’s carbon capture transport and storage infrastructure by around 2030.

Px Group is backed by Ara Partners, a private equity company specialising in decarbonisation investments. OXCCU is backed by investors including IP group (Kiko), Clean Energy Ventures, United Airlines, Eni, Aramco Ventures and Trafigura.

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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