Canada’s second-largest airline is teaming up with Alberta-based, Clean Energy Technology Centre to accelerate the development of sustainable aviation biofuel in Western Canada.
"WestJet's collaboration with the CETC is an exciting first step in supporting the development and deployment of a sustainable fuel alternative in Western Canada," said Geoffrey Tauvette, WestJet Director, Environment and Fuel.
"WestJet has already made significant, demonstrable progress in our environmental commitment. As an example, our fleet investment over the last 15 years has improved our fuel efficiency by almost 50 per cent. The natural next step for us was getting actively involved in tapping Western Canada's innovation potential in developing scalable, affordable and sustainable aviation biofuels," Tauvette said.
Aviation biofuels represent the biggest and best opportunity for aviation to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The focus now is developing sustainable sources to make the aviation biofuel, which Alberta's Drayton Valley has in abundance.
The location and proximity of Drayton Valley can help solve many of the challenges that face the development of the biofuel – namely finding an efficient and economical way of getting fuel from production to aircraft. The CETC itself is located in Drayton Valley, home also to the "Bio Mile," an integrated bio-industrial park with close proximity to forestry and oil and gas industries whose infrastructure and human resources could eventually support the development of the alternative fuel source.
"We are excited to work with WestJet in these early stages and looking forward to what the future holds for aviation biofuels inCanada," said, Manny Deol, CETC's chief operating officer. "We are extremely well positioned and we offer a full spectrum of advantages to clean energy researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators including location; ready access to feedstock; transportation networks; academic partnerships in Alberta and Europe; and a supportive community."
"Drayton Valley's Clean Energy Technology Centre is purpose-built to be an ideal complement with WestJet in this important venture," said Drayton Valley Mayor Glenn McLean. "Working together, Town Council and the Government of Alberta had the foresight to see how this location and our local assets would create a key hub for developing clean energy products and solutions. Drayton Valley and the CETC are ready to go. And we are ready to work with talented people all across the biofuel supply chain to meet the ambitious challenge set by WestJet."