Willis hopes for business from Teesside International Airport. Credit: TVCA

Approval for Teesside aviation fuel plant

Redcar & Cleveland Council has greenlit plans from Willis Lease Finance Corporation and subsidiary Wills Sustainable Fuels UK for the facility at Dorman Point.

The global aviation services group announced its proposals in July 2023. It intends for the plant to produce 20 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) a year, saying this has the potential to cut CO2 emissions by up to 85% when compare with traditional petrol-based aviation fuel.

Wills hopes that locally produced SAF to supply airlines at Teesside International Airport, supporting its drive towards net zero.

The power-to liquid refinery would convert feedstocks derived from waste CO2 and green hydrogen produced from renewable electricity into aircraft fuel. The process will deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry.

Teesworks chairman Chris Musgrave said: “It is great news that work on this plant can now move forward and we have worked hard to ensure the site is cleared and ready so there are no delays once planning approval is granted.

“Teesworks is proud to be bringing the sustainable industries of the future to our area which are delivering vital jobs and investment for local people and we look forward to working with WLFC in supporting construction of this plant.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We are now moving forward quickly to deliver world-beating clean energy projects and this shows we are ahead of the game in securing planning approvals and getting on with turning our area into an industrial powerhouse.”

WLFC also expects to have an option to lease additional land in Tees Valley for a potential second and larger refinery in the future.

The project combines with the development of a national hydrogen hub in Tees Valley. Another sustainable aviation fuel project is being pursued at the Stanlow oil refinery site in Ellesmere Port in the North West, as the UK’s regions look to deliver future energy projects on legacy sites.

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