Shell Aviation has agreed on a purchase agreement for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with Colorado-based Red Rock Biofuels. Red Rock expects its biorefinery under construction in Lakeview, Oregon—which will be the first commercial-scale plant to use woody biomass as a feedstock—will begin operation in the second quarter of 2021. It will have the initial capacity to turn approximately 166,000 dry tons of waste woody biomass into 16.1 million gallons per year of low-carbon, renewable jet and diesel fuels.
“This has been one of the most devastating wildfire seasons on record,” said Red Rock CEO Terry Kulesa. “One of the many potential benefits of the plant is to reduce the waste woody biomass lying on the forest floor, which may help mitigate the spread of wildfires.”
Shell will act as the distributor for the renewable fuel, lending its technical and commercial expertise, as well as its global supply chain. SAF usage is considered one of the major pillars necessary for aviation to reach its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“To enable SAF to fulfill its potential, we need to be proactive and resolute in finding opportunities to increase availability of SAF today and tomorrow,” said Anna Mascolo, president of Shell’s global aviation division. “Increasing SAF is dependent on collaboration across the whole value chain.”