Shell’s withdrawal from waste-to-jet-fuel project won’t stop progress

Velocys Altalto Immingham

An Oxford-based sustainable fuels technology company, Velocys plc, which last May was granted planning permission for Altalto Immingham – planned to be the UK’s first commercial waste-to-jet-fuel plant,is to part with one of its development partners.

Shell International Petroleum Company Limited has withdrawn from the Altalto Joint Development Agreement.  

The Altalto project has no immediate funding calls and will continue according to its existing development plan. In a statement, Velocys said that it would continue to work with British Airways to secure finance for the Altalto Immingham plant, and will continue the discussions with potential sources of finance for the project, which have been underway for several months and indicate strong interest in this sector. 

As the project progresses, Velocys, British Airways and potentially other new partners will focus on the next stages. Preparations are underway to apply for significant government funding for the Immingham project. Whilst there is no guarantee that such an application would be successful, the company believes that the project is well placed to achieve this.

Henrik Wareborn, Velocys CEO, said: “We are looking forward to moving Altalto Immingham to the next stage of development in 2021. Altalto Immingham is the most advanced commercial SAF project in the UK and is ready to take advantage of the strong push from both Government and industry for the decarbonisation of aviation, especially using waste feedstocks.”

Sean Doyle, British Airways CEO, added: “Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is vital to the decarbonisation of aviation and to helping us achieve our net zero target. The formation of the Jet Zero Council and the recent launch of its Sustainable Aviation Fuels Delivery Group are testament to the importance that the Government attaches to SAF. We are excited to continue to work with Velocys, with the support of Government and other private-sector partners.”

Matthew Tipper, Shell VP New Fuels, said: “Shell are pursuing multiple opportunities across our global portfolio. On this occasion, we have decided to focus our resources on other lower-carbon fuels opportunities which leverage our own technology. We will continue to work with the aviation industry and the UK Government, as part of the Jet Zero Council, to help decarbonise UK aviation. We wish Altalto every success in the future.”