£600M bio-refinery to produce SAF for UK airports


Essar Oil is teaming up with Fulcrum BioEnergy Limited and Essar’s subsidiary Stanlow Terminals Limited to set up a new facility to turn non-recyclable household waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use by airlines operating at UK airports.

This innovative bio-refinery would turn several hundred thousand tons of pre-processed waste, which would otherwise have been intended for incineration or landfill, into nearly 100 million liters of low carbon SAF each year.

Large investment

The plant, which would see an investment of approximately £600 million, would use the proven waste-to-fuel method of Fulcrum, which is already being deployed at its facility outside Reno, Nevada, in the United States, where operations are scheduled to begin later this year.

Fulcrum, whose parent is headquartered in California, the United States, will construct, own and run a plant within Essar’s Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in the North West of England. It is going to be the first Fulcrum plant outside the United States.

Essar will help to blend and distribute the new SAF to airlines, with Stanlow Terminals Limited offering stock storage and logistics solutions for the project under a long-term arrangement. The Fulcrum venture would supplement Essar’s larger ambitions to create an industrial renewable energy cluster at the Stanlow site. Earlier this year, it announced its involvement in the HyNet project in the manufacture of blue hydrogen.

Complete incorporation

The plant, which will completely incorporate Essar, Stanlow Terminals Limited and Fulcrum infrastructure and technologies, is one of a range of creative solutions at Stanlow intended to minimize carbon emissions and lead to the Ten Point Plan for the Green Industrial Revolution of the UK Government. The ambitious plan lays the firm basis for speeding the UK’s journey to net zero while reforming the economy, boosting jobs and delivering growth.

The Stanlow initiative, called Fulcrum NorthPoint, would generate 800 direct and indirect jobs during the planning, installation and commissioning period and over 100 permanent jobs during its service. Fulcrum NorthPoint proposals are planned to be finished by the end of this year and to be operational by the end of 2025, subject to planning approval.

Decarbonization of the UK

This latest development aims to pave the way to a safer and more prosperous future in the North West and to transform the way aviation fuel is manufactured to further decarbonize the United Kingdom. Using SAF derived from leftover household and commercial waste, greenhouse gas emissions are substantially lowered on a life-cycle basis relative to traditional crude oil fuels.

These emission reductions are about 70% and have the ability to be fully carbon free in the future. In addition, the site-produced SAF promises a 90% reduction in particulate matter, which can improve local air quality in and around airports.


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