Alaska Airlines could be flying on biofuel by 2018

Alaska Airlines is to buy biojet fuel for its aircraft from Hawai'i BioEnergy, a consortium of three of Hawaii's largest landowners and three venture capital firms, after the two companies signed an agreement.

The material used to produce the renewable aviation fuel is likely to be woody biomass and will comply with the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels' criteria.

Alaska Airlines is Hawai'i BioEnergy's second customer, and the first to sign a contract. Hawaiian Electric previously announced it agreed to purchase 10 million gallons of fuel annually for power production.

The air carrier has lowered its carbon footprint by 30% since 2004. It could be powering its Hawaii flights on bio-based jet fuel by 2018 as Hawai'i BioEnergy says it will ramp up production of the sustainable fuels within five years of regulatory approval.

'The development and commercialisation of local, renewable energy is of critical importance to Hawaii, given the state imports 95% of its energy needs,' says Joel Matsunaga, executive VP and CEO of Hawai'i BioEnergy. 'Use of locally grown feedstocks for biofuel production will improve Hawaii's energy sustainability and security while creating jobs in our communities.'

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