Minnesota SAF Hub launches first-of-its-kind coalition to scale sustainable aviation fuel

Published: Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Atlanta, Georgia—A first-of-its-kind coalition is launching in Minnesota to scale sustainable aviation fuel with the urgency commercial aviation needs to reach net zero by 2050.

Through the GREATER MSP Partnership, Bank of America, Delta Air Lines, Ecolab and Xcel Energy have established the Minnesota SAF Hub – the first large-scale SAF Hub in the US with unparalleled collaboration among key players across the value chain committed to scaling SAF production to replace conventional jet fuel.

These anchor members are joined by other leading institutions, including the State of Minnesota, to implement an ambitious shared strategy for aggressively decarbonizing the airline industry.

SAF is the best decarbonization lever the aviation industry has in the near- to mid-term on its journey to net zero. While airlines globally have committed to purchasing billions of gallons of SAF over the next few decades, there isn’t enough being produced currently to fuel commercial airlines globally for a single day.

Third on the World Economic Forum’s list of Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2023, SAF is a safe, fully certified jet fuel that can be used in today’s aircraft engines and transported via existing pipeline infrastructure.

Produced from many sources including renewable feedstocks and used cooking oil, SAF can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions of aviation by more than 80 percent, meaning exponentially fewer emissions from SAF than traditional jet fuel.

The project’s progress to date includes establishing a shared, multi-phase strategy, securing nation-leading financial incentives from the State of Minnesota, and building a growing coalition of Minnesota-based organizations including the anchor companies, State of Minnesota, the Metropolitan Airports Commission, the University of Minnesota, and knowledge partner McKinsey & Company.

“Our SAF Hub will accelerate progress toward decarbonizing the airline industry nationally while also creating thousands of good jobs across Minnesota,” said President and CEO of the GREATER MSP Partnership, Peter Frosch. “It is good news that some of the world’s most innovative companies are combining forces to build SAF production at the scale the market demands and at a pace the climate requires.”

Delta CEO Ed Bastian, added, “The Minnesota SAF Hub is the game changer aviation needs to start producing SAF at the volumes required to meet our aggressive goals. This coalition of heavy hitters from across the SAF ecosystem are collaborating to rapidly scale production, demonstrating the power of partnerships to meet our shared goal faster than any of us could do on our own.”