Biomass jet fuel plant coming to Gilroy

GILROY, Calif.

Ten airlines and FedEx have signed a letter of intent with Solena Fuels for a supply of jet fuel produced from urban and agricultural waste. The Solena Group is a global, Washington, D.C.-based bio-energy company.

The Air Transport Association (ATA), an airline industry trade group, says Solena's method for converting waste to jet fuel was approved for aviation use in August of 2009. Solena had identified the Gilroy site then, but has lacked funding until now.

ATA Vice President John Heimlich says, "Part of the hope here is that by announcing this project and moving down the football field with Solena, we can spur greater interest from investors and government agencies."

The ATA says Solena's Gilroy plant will convert 550,000 metric tons of waste into 16 million gallons of jet fuel annually by 2015 for use at the Bay Area's three major airports.

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