General FAQs

Lighthouse Green Fuels is a green fuel refinery which will make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from household and commercial waste, and waste biomass feedstock. The project is located in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, UK.

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are renewable or waste-derived aviation fuels that meets strict sustainability criteria.[1] SAF can be made from renewable sources such as used cooking oil, municipal waste or agricultural residues to name a few. It is a safe, proven fuel. SAF derived from sources such as algae, jatropha or waste by-products have the potential to reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by up to 80%, compared with conventional aviation fuel.[2]

[1] Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) (icao.int)

[2] Facts & figures | ATAG

Lighthouse Green Fuels will produce advanced second-generation SAF, which has the potential to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 80% – 200%. How are we able to make a carbon saving above 100%? This would be delivered by the use of carbon capture and storage technology, which will ensure that any carbon dioxide created during the SAF production process can be captured for permanent, safe storage.

The benefits of using advanced SAF over conventional aviation fuel (i.e. kerosene) include a reduction in aircraft contrails, and it has a non-toxic chemical composition. Production routes for advanced SAF creates the potential to unlock new feedstocks to produce the fuel.

The UK government has committed to decarbonising the UK’s aviation sector to reach Net Zero by 2050. The Jet Zero Strategy announced in 2022 will play a vital role in achieving net zero, with aviation making up around 12% of the UK transport related emissions in 2020[3]. In a world that is decarbonising large scale sectors of industry and the wider global economy, without immediate action, the aviation sector has the potential to be the largest emitter of carbon globally with passenger numbers predicted to grow to 16 billion by 2050, compared to 4 billion pre-pandemic in 2018.

By 2025, the UK government has committed to having at least five SAF plants in construction in the UK, alongside a comprehensive SAF mandate subsidy programme to incentivise and support the country’s domestic SAF industry. Part of this commitment also includes a target of at least 10% SAF in the UK aviation fuel mix by 2030. Our Billingham site is one of the five identified SAF plants.[4]

[3] Transport and environment statistics 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

[4] jet-zero-strategy.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Lighthouse Green Fuels’ Fischer-Tropsch process of producing sustainable aviation fuel would not cause any additional smells or noise locally.

We are currently developing our project design and proposals for what LGF will look like. We will present our project plans at statutory consultation, which is planned for early 2024, when you will be able to view and provide comments on our proposals.

We will be carrying out an assessment of the potential environmental effects of our proposals. To do this we will prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and consult on a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR), which will identify any significant effects and proposed mitigation.

Construction

The majority of the new structures required would be constructed off site from large modular units and then transported to site via road or water. We will consider potential effects on local traffic and will provide information on this at our statutory consultation.

We will prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to consider the traffic and transport effects of our proposals. We will also prepare an Outline Construction Traffic Management Plan, which will set out the good practice measures proposed to further reduce impacts on the local road network and traffic.

Should LGF be granted a Development Consent Order (DCO), we expect to begin construction in 2025 and commercial operations in 2028. Enabling works may begin earlier in 2024, which would involve the demolition of some existing structures on the current site. We may progress demolition works through a separate local approval if required.

Operation

Lighthouse Green Fuels will process over 1 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste and waste biomass feedstock each year. The feedstock will be transformed into over 165 million litres of second-generation SAF per year to fuel aircraft at UK airports.

We expect to transport waste materials to the site via road or rail, and transport generated SAF away from the site via road, rail or water.

LGF is expected to create approximately 240 full-time jobs once fully operational, the highest number of jobs for a project of this kind in Europe.

Yes. We want to setup apprenticeship schemes to support LGF staffing requirements for the next 25 years of operations.

Planning

Lighthouse Green Fuels is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), as it is deemed crucial for the UK’s national infrastructure. Under the Planning Act 2008, NSIPs need to seek a Development Consent Order (DCO) in order to be built and operate. To find out more about each stage of the DCO process, please view the consultation page on our website.

We may progress limited works on site, such as demolition of existing structures, through a separate local approval if required.

Yes. Lighthouse Green Fuels is part of the UK government’s decarbonisation strategy for the aviation sector, known as the Jet Zero Strategy.

Part of this strategy is the domestic production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). This could support up to 5,200 jobs by 2035 and help regenerate industrial sites across the country, notably in areas outside London such as the north-east, contributing to levelling up the UK and improving our fuel security.[6]

The UK government has committed to the construction of at least five SAF production plants by 2025 and for SAF to represent 10% of the UK aviation fuel mix by 2030. Lighthouse Green Fuels represents one of the five identified SAF plants, and was awarded funding from the Department for Transport’s Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) and Advanced Fuels Fund (AFF) competitions in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

[6] Jet Zero strategy: our approach for achieving net zero aviation by 2050 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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