Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC, is developing a Sustainable Aviation Fuel, in Grays Harbor, Wash. Shipments of this renewable jet fuel will begin in approximately four years. Delta Air Lines, buyer of the SAF, and many of the leading timber companies in the Northwest are involved in the NWABF Project. The company’s EPC, Black & Veatch, will design and engineer the entire project.
NWABF plans for the project to benefit the local Quinault Indian Nation. The Quinault Nation has agreed in principal to be a supplier of some of the woody biomass for the project which would come from their forest residuals. This will help increase the Nation’s revenues realized from the sale of forestry debris from their approximately 200,000 acres of forests near the project. The project is expected to produce several hundred jobs during construction which could also benefit the Nation.
This year the west has been decimated by wildfires. The National Interagency Fire Center, states 87 large fires have burned over 4.7 million acres in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
The United States has over 750 million acres of forest land. Over half of the forests are privately owned by large corporations. Most of these privately owned forests are certified and undergo annual inspections that verify responsible forest management practices are being followed. Sustainable forests in the USA are certified under programs such as the American Tree Farm System, Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Institute.
These programs develop healthy forest guidelines that are deeply rooted in science, ecology and principles of sustainability that create healthy forests by the removal of diseased and dead trees and by replanting new trees during all forest harvesting periods to ensure proper growth and ecological balance.
The NWABF project will provide a resource for the disposition of forest debris, treetops, dead fallen trees, sawdust, etc., all of which are byproducts of the environment or the local timber industry which will help in preventing wildfires.
“We cannot stop lighting strikes and we will never stop some less than intelligent campers from not putting out their campfires or smoking in the forests… but we can clear our forests and manage them better. When lighting does strike, hopefully our brave Hotshots and Smokejumpers who put their lives on the line will have a fighting chance to get through the forests and to the source of the problem, clearing fire breaks, getting relief to people, saving animals. Then maybe finally, they can achieve containment and prevent loss of life and more property!” the company stated in a press release.