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Razon’s Prime Infra, foreign firms study ‘cleaner’ aviation fuel production

PRIME Metroline Infrastructure Holdings Corp. (Prime Infra) has partnered with two foreign companies in exploring the construction of a Metro Manila-based biorefinery that can produce cleaner aviation fuel, the Enrique K. Razon, Jr.-led firm said on Tuesday.

The biorefinery aims to convert landfill waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), Prime Infra said.

“A biorefinery that will convert solid waste into SAF will make a big impact in reducing solid waste and ensuing environmental and health hazards, landfill emissions, and fossil fuel use,” Prime Infra President Gillaume Lucci was quoted in the press release.

Prime Infra is the core infrastructure arm of Mr. Razon, with assets in both renewable and sustainable energy, water and construction. It has tied up with WasteFuel, a firm that converts municipal waste into aviation-grade biofuel, which it claims to emit 80% less carbon, compared to fossil fuel-based jet fuel; and NetJets, a company that sells private jets.

The proposed refinery would transform a million tons of waste to 30 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel every year.

“An added bonus, it will create jobs for the local community,” Mr. Lucci said.

Mr. Lucci said that solid waste management is a major problem in the country, especially for urban areas like Metro Manila, which generates around 10,000 tons of daily municipal solid waste.

Brad Ferrell, NetJets executive vice president of administrative services, described the company as “deeply invested in advancing sustainability across the industry,” which is why it chose to invest in producing SAF with WasteFuel.

“The biorefinery tackles the dual environmental problems of the global waste crisis and sustainable fuel, and we’re excited to take this step toward improving accessibility to SAF,” Mr. Ferrel said.

Crispian N. Lao, vice-chairman of the National Solid Waste Commission, said in December that the country had a long way to go in enforcing Republic Act No. 9003 or Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. He said in an earlier press briefing that one of the biggest challenges they were facing was enforcing “segregation at source.”

He said that the country’s collection and waste diversion goals are now at 50%, which is 30% away from the current Philippine Development Plan’s goal in 2022. — Angelica Y. Yang

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