Boeing (NYSE: BA) and PetroChina (NYSE: PTR) have unveiled their plans to assess the possibility of establishing a sustainable aviation biofuels industry in China. Boeing said that the strategic assessment is the first such effort in China, and it will take a comprehensive look at the environmental and socio-economic benefits of developing sustainable alternatives to fossil-based jet fuels.
"Boeing is actively pursuing biofuel research around the world", Boeing China President David Wang commented. "Sustainable biofuels can help reduce carbon emissions while offering the potential to lessen aviation's dependence on fossil fuels”.
The assessment forms part of a broader aviation biofuel agreement between China's National Energy Administration and the US Trade and Development Agency.
Boeing also noted the other US companies participating through the broader US-China agreement - including AECOM (NYSE: ACM), Honeywell's (NYSE: HON) UOP unit and United Technologies (NYSE:UTX). PetroChina and Air China (SHA: 601111) are leading the Chinese team.
Alongside the collaborations, Boeing announced plans to conduct an inaugural flight using sustainable biofuel derived from biomass grown and processed in China, in association with Air China, PetroChina and Honeywell's UOP.
PetroChina will provide the biomass, which will subsequently be processed into jet fuel by UOP. “The biofuel flight, which will occur in China, will highlight the viability of the entire supply chain - from seed to flight”. The specific details regarding the flights timing and exact location will be announced at a future date.
Elsewhere in China, Boeing has also agreed to extend its existing collaboration with the ‘Chinese Academy of Science's Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology’ (QIBEBT). Subsequently, the collaboration will include other research institutions and aviation supply chain entities, in their research efforts on algae-based aviation biofuel development.
Boeing and QIBEBT previously plan to establish a joint research and development laboratory, which is focused on algal growth, harvesting and processing technologies. The Joint Laboratory will be located in Qingdao, it will be managed by the partners, and the work will place a strong emphasis on commercial applications for developed technologies.
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