Willis Lease Finance Corporation (WLFC), a leading lessor of commercial aircraft engines and global provider of aviation services, together with its subsidiary Willis Sustainable Fuels (UK) Limited, has selected Teesworks in Tees Valley, England, as the intended location for a ground-breaking sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plant. This plant will be the first of its kind in the region focused on developing and producing power-to-liquid (PtL) SAF.
Teesworks is the United Kingdom’s largest industrial zone and an international hub for diverse, sustainable and low-carbon activity. Increased SAF production and utilisation is seen as a driving factor in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry. WLFC’s planned PtL SAF refinery will be designed to convert feedstocks, sourced from industrial-waste carbon dioxide and green hydrogen (produced from water by electrolysis using renewable electricity) into aviation turbine fuel.
WLFC’s envisioned new refinery will harness abundant feedstocks, avoiding constraints that impede SAF production using traditional bio-based pathways.
“Our pioneering SAF project at Teesworks will directly support the global aviation industry’s ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Austin C. Willis, CEO of WLFC. “We are proud to be continuing our legacy as a leader and innovator in aviation, being the first aviation leasing company to launch a SAF initiative of this type.”
WLFC and its subsidiary Willis Sustainable Fuels (UK) Limited, have been working closely with Tees Valley Combined Authority and partners with subject matter expertise in sustainable energy since proposals for the SAF refinery were announced in July 2023. WLFC expects to also have an option to lease additional land in Tees Valley for a potential second and larger refinery in the future.