Advanced Fuels Fund
About the fund
The UK Government’s October 2021 Net Zero Strategy laid out a commitment to:
“Become a leader in zero-emission flight, kick-starting commercialisation of UK sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) … to enable the delivery of 10% SAF by 2030”
The UK Government has since announced its commitment of having at least 5 commercial scale SAF plants under construction in the UK by 2025.
To support these aims, the Advanced Fuels Fund was launched on 19 July 2022 by the Department for Transport (DfT). The Advanced Fuels Fund will competitively allocate up to £165 million in grant funding to support UK advanced fuels projects until 31 March 2025.
About the AFF
The key objectives of the Advanced Fuels Fund are to:
- Kickstart the UK advanced fuels sector with the commercial deployment of innovative fuel production technologies that are capable of significantly reducing near-term UK aviation emissions.
- Broaden and strengthen the UK project pipeline, getting as many UK projects as possible to an "investment ready" state.
- Support the advancement of a diverse range of technology routes to SAF and other advanced fuels.
The Advanced Fuels Fund will provide grant funding to first-of-a-kind (FOAK) commercial and demonstration-scale projects in the UK at all development stages up to construction starting, including “Feasibility”, “Pre-front-end engineering and design” (Pre-FEED)”, “Front-end engineering and design” (FEED) and up to 50% of eligible project costs during the “Detailed Design” and “Procurement of Main Equipment” stages within “Engineering, Procurement & Construction” (EPC). In total, up to £165 million in grant funding will be available to winning projects for work during the Funding Period. An initial tranche of grant funding was allocated across five successful projects from the first application window. £55.8 million remains un-allocated and available across the final two years of the Advanced Fuels Fund under this second application window.
The fund will reserve a new sub-pot of up to £27 million out of the total £55.8 million for the second window to support projects that use CO2 (point source or direct air capture) as their main carbon source in fuel production. This sub-pot is in recognition of both the longer-term potential of these pathways but also nearer-term challenges in sourcing CO2 and low carbon hydrogen and will help to ensure the Advanced Fuels Fund supports a diverse range of technologies that utilise a range of sustainable feedstocks.
To further encourage technology diversity, DfT have also set a discretionary 50% cap for allocation of the total £165m in AFF funding to a single technology pathway. Based on the first window awards, a maximum of £27.7m of window two funding will therefore be available for waste gasification with Fischer-Tropsch projects, unless there would otherwise be under-allocation of window two funds.
Applicants to Window 2 must submit their completed application form along with the required supporting documents to AFF@ricardo.com before 16.00 (BST) Wednesday 7 June 2023. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged by email. It will not be possible to accept late applicants.
A webinar launch event will be held on 19 April 2023 following the opening of Window 2. The event will give an overview of the competition covering:
- The main assessment criteria and minimum requirements.
- Key dates and deadlines.
- The application form and appendices.
Applicants will have the opportunity to ask questions during this session. To register your interest for this event please contact AFF@ricardo.com before 18 April 2023.
Window 2 of the Advanced Fuels Funds is open to applications until 16.00 (BST) on Wednesday 7 June 2023. Table 1 outlines the key dates and stages of the Advanced Fuels Fund, from initial launch to the end of the competition’s Funding Period. These are planned but may be subject to change.
Table 1. Key Dates
|30 March 2023||Window 2 open for applications|
|16:00 BST 7 June 2023||Window 2 Application deadline|
|September 2023||Announcement of winners and start of Funding Period for Window 2 projects|
|31 March 2025||End of Funding Period for all winning projects|
Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the guidance document in order to be eligible for funding. If you are unsure if you meet the criteria, please contact AFF@ricardo.com.
The Advanced Fuels Fund will be administered and managed on behalf of the DfT by their delivery partners Ricardo and E4tech (part of ERM Group). DfT retains overall responsibility for the execution, eligibility and award decisions, contract terms and payments throughout.
A fair and competitive assessment process will be assured, including a rigorous process to manage any direct or perceived conflict of interest that may arise from a personal/working relation between an applicant and one of the delivery partners.
Please download the competition documents using the links below.
- Advanced Fuels Fund Guidance document v3.1 – Window 2 (.pdf)
- Advanced Fuels Fund Application form v2.0 – Window 2 (.docx)
- Appendix D v1.0 – Window 2 - A detailed project budget for the grant funded activities
- Appendix E v1.0 – Window 2 - A projected cash-flow model template for the future commercial plant (.xlsx)
- Appendix H v1.0 – Window 2 - A lifecycle GHG emissions template for your project’s main fuel output (.xlsx)
- Appendix G v1.0 – Window 2 - An outline risk assessment (.xlsx)
- Advanced Fuels Fund Example Grant Agreement (.pdf)
To ensure you are informed of all the latest news and updates in relation to the competition, please register for our mailing list by contacting AFF@ricardo.com.
To support networking for stakeholders looking to build consortia, an open list of interested organisations will be publicly available on this web page. If you are interested in having your organisation’s details available on this webpage until 7 June 2023, please email AFF@ricardo.com including your organisation’s name, a named contact and (no more than) 100 words that outline your organisation’s relevant experience and collaboration interest. You can download the current networking list below.
Please email AFF@ricardo.com if you have any questions when filling in your application to the Advanced Fuels Fund. Responses relevant to other potential applicants will be posted on this website weekly.
Please note that negotiation of the grant terms & conditions will not be possible. However, should you identify any element that prevents you from applying, please inform us at AFF@ricardo.com.
Window 1 materials:
- Advanced Fuels Fund Launch Event presentation
- Advanced Fuels Fund Launch Event recording
- Advanced Fuels Fund Launch Q&As
- Advanced Fuels Fund Lifecycle GHG Emissions Briefing Pack
- Advanced Fuels Fund Stakeholder Enquiries
- Advanced Fuels Fund Guidance document (.pdf)
- Advanced Fuels Fund Application form (.docx)
- Appendix D - A detailed project budget for the grant funded activities
- Appendix E - A projected cash-flow model template for the future commercial plant (.xlsx)
- Appendix H - A lifecycle GHG emissions template for your project’s main fuel output (.xlsx)
- Appendix G - An outline risk assessment (.xlsx)
- Advanced Fuels Fund Example Grant Agreement (.pdf)
Window 1 Winning organisations
Based in the Industrial Cluster at Teesside, the project is developing a commercial scale plant that uses gasification and Fischer-Tropsch technology to convert black bin bag waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The plant is expected to be operational in 2028 and produce 86.6 kt/y of SAF when at full operational capacity.
Based in Port Talbot, South Wales, the project is developing a commercial scale plant that converts steel mill off-gases into ethanol and then uses alcohol-to-jet technology to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The plant is expected to be operational in 2026 and produce 79kt/y of SAF when at full operational capacity.
This project is developing a large demonstration plant that uses power-to-liquid technology to convert carbon dioxide from a fossil gas-powered electricity plant and hydrogen made from renewable electricity into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Based in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, the project is developing a commercial scale plant that uses gasification and Fischer-Tropsch technology to convert black bin bag waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The plant is expected to be operational in 2027 and produce 83.7kt/y of SAF when at full operational capacity.
Based in Immingham, Lincolnshire, the project is developing a commercial scale plant that uses gasification and Fischer-Tropsch technology to convert black bin bag waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The plant is expected to be operational in 2028 and produce 37.4kt/y of SAF when at full operational capacity.
All selected projects have demonstrated their potential to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) capable of reducing emissions by more than 70% on a lifecycle basis when used in place of conventional fossil jet fuel.
The competition provides grant funding to first-of-a-kind (FOAK) commercial and demonstration-scale projects in the UK at all development stages up to construction starting, including:
- front-end engineering and design (FEED)
- pre-front-end engineering and design (Pre-FEED)
- feasibility study
- engineering, procurement and construction (EPC)
This grant funding will directly contribute towards to the establishment of a UK SAF industry. Research indicates that by 2035, the SAF sector could generate a gross value added (GVA) of up to £742m annually and support up to 5,200 jobs.
A further 13,600 jobs could be generated from the growing market for sustainable aviation fuels through global exports. In addition, the UK manufactured fuels could deliver a £550m per annum benefit to the UK’s balance of payments and increase fuel security.
This competition builds on the work of previous Department for Transport industry competitions, including the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition (ABDC), the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C) and the Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) competition. All of which aimed to unlock future environmental and economic benefits that the advanced fuels industry can bring to the UK.
The Advanced Fuels Fund is being delivered with the support of Ricardo Energy and Environment and E4tech.