Wizz Air


The world’s first commercial-scale factory turning human waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has been announced.

Firefly has plans to build the factory in Harwich, Essex, targeting fuel production by 2028.

The company has secured a deal with Wizz Air to supply up to 525,000 tonnes of SAF over the next 15 years.

Firefly chief executive James Hygate said biosolids were “kind of disgusting stuff” but “an amazing resource”.

“We’re turning sewage into jet fuel. I can’t really think of many things that are cooler than that,” Mr Hygate added.

Producing SAF involves about 70% less carbon than traditional jet fuel, although it is considerably more expensive to manufacture.

For the initial pilot phase, Anglian Water will supply Firefly with biosolids, a byproduct of their wastewater treatment process.

Paul Hilditch, Firefly’s chief operating officer, highlighted that the UK’s biosolids could meet half of the country’s mandated SAF demand by 2030.

“And not just the UK of course. Anywhere in the world where there are people, there’s poo,” he added.

Firefly is currently seeking regulatory approval to use its system for fuelling aircraft.

Additionally, Wizz Air aims to use SAF for 10% of its flights by 2030.

Yvonne Moynihan, Wizz Air’s corporate and ESG officer, emphasised the importance of sustainable fuel for reducing aviation carbon emissions and urged policymakers to back further investment in SAF production. This aligns with the UK government’s objective to have at least 10% of airline fuel derived from sustainable sources by 2030.



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