Virgin Australia, Brisbane Airport and SkyNRG to create "bioport"

By SkyNRG | May 02, 2013

Virgin Australia, Brisbane Airport Corporation and the global market maker in sustainable jet fuel, SkyNRG, have announced a feasibility study into the creation of Australia’s first “bioport” at Brisbane Airport.

The three parties have agreed to enter a memorandum of understanding which will see them work together towards the ultimate goal of enabling aircraft to be fuelled with sustainable biojet fuel at Brisbane Airport.

The feasibility study will involve researching the locally available feedstocks in Queensland, sustainable and cost-effective methods for transporting them and the most appropriate technology for converting them into biofuel. It is anticipated that the feasibility study will take 12 months to complete.

Virgin Australia Chief Operating Officer Sean Donohue said, “Virgin Australia is committed to developing a local sustainable supply of biofuel for use in our aircraft and we have set ourselves the target of 5 precent renewable fuel use from 2020.

“South-East Queensland is an ideal base for this project because it is one of our largest hubs and hosts many potential sustainably harvested feedstocks for biofuel, including woody weeds, crop residues and bagasse.

“We are excited to be working with Brisbane Airport Corporation and SkyNRG on this pioneering study which has the potential to support local jobs and Australian innovation and reduce our reliance on fossil fuel,” Donohue continued.

Roel Hellemons, BAC general manager strategic planning and development, said, “Brisbane Airport aimed to be the greenest of Australian airports and takes an active approach in supporting its partners to help achieve their environmental goals.

“BAC is proud to be a part of this exciting project to promote the development of sustainable bio-jet fuels in Queensland and we look forward to working with Virgin Australia and SkyNRG to facilitate the planning and development of infrastructure to deliver sustainable bio-jet fuel to airlines in a safe and sustainable way,” he continued.

Dirk Kronemeijer, Managing Director of SkyNRG, said, “We strongly believe in Australia as potentially one of the best places in the world for developing sustainable jet fuels. We are therefore very pleased that our first announced bio-port outside Europe is going to be in Australia. We will do whatever it takes to turn this into a success by developing a local supply chain for sustainable jet fuel that is one day scalable and affordable.”

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman welcomed the announcement and supported Virgin Australia’s vision of using biofuel for its fleet. “Today’s announcement is another vote of confidence in Queensland’s aviation and agricultural industries,” Newman said.

“Queensland is a state that supports innovation and we congratulate Virgin Australia on undertaking this research to deliver a greener fuel source for commercial aviation.”