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Fortescue progresses plans for Marsden Point green aviation fuel factory

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Channel Infrastructure and Fortescue Future Industries announced their investigation into a green hydrogen manufacturing facility at Marsden Point for synthetic Sustainable Aviation Fuel (eSAF) has progressed, with Fortescue to begin a pre-feasibility phase study.

According to a statement from the two companies on Wednesday, the eSAF factory could supply approximately  60 million litres a year, or more than 3 per cent of the annual pre-Covid jet fuel requirements for New Zealand, and would be one of the first at-scale projects in the world for eSAF.

The next stage will include more detailed engineering and design studies and developing further detail on the project’s economic viability, following a successful scoping study.

According to plans announced in an MoU between the pair in late-2021, parts of theoil refinery north of Auckland, New Zealand would be converted to produce aviation fuel. The site has since been closed.

FFI has also signed a MoU with Air New Zealand “to further their mutual interest in investigating eSAF production and eventual use in New Zealand” with an initial focus being on the airline as a foundation customer.

FFI CEO Mark Hutchinson said: “Airlines are relying on Sustainable Aviation Fuel as the most critical component of the industry’s roadmap.

“This project would position FFI as a first mover in the eSAF market, which we believe is a valuable global market for FFI. For New Zealand, domestic eSAF production would provide a greater degree of fuel security and support development of the local green hydrogen industry.”

FFI and Channel said the pre-feasibility study will investigate a 300MW, 60 million litres per year eSAF production facility, with eSAF to be distributed via the existing Marsden Point-Auckland Airport supply chain.

The proposed production facility would use electrolysers to produce 35,000 tonnes per year of green hydrogen, and utilise a Fisher-Tropsch process to produce eSAF.

Picture: credit Fortescue Future Industries


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