Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) Competition


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DfT hosted a stakeholder briefing session to focus on the application process and provide guidance on the GHG emissions estimate process. Slides and a briefing pack for the event are available to download below. 

To support networking for stakeholders looking to build consortiums, an open list of interested organisations is publicly available on this web page. If you are interested in having your organisations details available on this webpage until June 2021, please email including your organisations name, a named contact and 100 words that outline your organisation’s relevant experience and collaboration interest. You can download the current GFGS networking list below.

As part of his Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the Prime Minister announced on 18 November 2020 a:

...£15 million competition to support the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) in the UK, building on the success of the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C).

This competition was launched on 16 March 2021 by the Department for Transport (DfT) to support the development of the emerging UK sector on its pathway to production of SAF at scale.

The Green Fuels, Green Skies competition will provide up to £15 million in grant funding to UK SAF projects during the 2021/22 financial year. Specifically, it will look to support the early-stage development of UK SAF plants, referred to as “Front End Engineering Design (FEED)”, “Pre-FEED” and “Feasibility Study” stages of a project’s development life cycle.

Figure 1. Project lifecycle stages for a SAF plant and GFGS competition focus

GFGS project lifecycle

The competition will have a key focus on supporting activities related to the development of First-Of-A-Kind (FOAK) commercial SAF plants in the UK, but will also be open to demonstration scale SAF projects and will allocate up to £2m in funding for projects at the feasibility stage of development across these scales.

The Green Fuels, Green Skies competition is open to applications until 31 May 2021. The competition guidance document is available at the bottom of this page to download.

The Green Fuels, Green Skies competition will be administered and managed on behalf of the DfT by the competition delivery partners Ricardo Energy & Environment and E4tech. Those interested in the SAF competition should register their interest by emailing to ensure you are kept up to date as the scheme progresses.

Prior to the announcement of the Green Fuels, Green Skies Competition, E4tech were commissioned by two organisations that subsequently made the decision to submit an application for funding. The Department for Transport has determined that this work has not been undertaken in support of these organisation’s applications to the GFGS. Neither E4tech nor the Department for Transport consider that this work creates a conflict of interest in E4tech’s role as a delivery partner on this competition. In addition, there is sufficient oversight and management structures in place to provide assurance of a fair and competitive assessment process in any case. However, in the interest of transparency we are disclosing this information to all applicants here. To further ensure confidence, we have introduced changes to the evaluation process so that the initial marking of the applications submitted by these two projects will only be handled by Ricardo Energy & Environment and the final confirmation of applicant scores will be provided by DfT’s appointed Expert Panel. If any further Conflicts of Interests are identified following the receipt of applications, DfT will look to handle these in the same manner.

The following diagram and table outline key dates and stages of the GFGS competition, from initial interest to the expected end of the competition’s Funding Period.

Figure 1: GFGS Competition process

GFGS assessment programme

Table 1: Stages of the GFGS competition



16 March 2021 Competition launched
26 March 2021 Application documents released on the competition website
31 May 2021 Application deadline
31 July 2021 [expected] Announcement of competition winners and the start of Funding Period for project work.
31 March 2022 End of Funding Period for winning projects


The UK has challenging goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In transport, the electrification of vehicles will have a key role, but the aviation sector currently has few alternatives to using liquid fossil fuels.

In addition, an independent Feasibility Study commissioned by the DfT from E4tech & Ricardo-EE (via an ARUP/AECOM consortium) has indicated that early and decisive action could enable the UK, with our research and engineering expertise, to claim a share of a global SAF market that could support substantial UK low carbon growth.

A high-level analysis indicates that this could generate between £700m and £1,660m in GVA, with potentially half of this being generated from the export of IP and the provision of engineering services. This industry could create between 5,000 and 11,000 green jobs, and furthermore, replacing imported kerosene with domestically produced SAF would increase fuel security and have a net positive impact on the UK’s balance of payments

The GFGS competition has been designed to aid the UK SAF industry to realise this potential. For more context, please see the competition guidance document.


The key objective of the GFGS competition is to:
Support the development of the UK SAF sector towards the deployment of innovative SAF production technologies at commercial scale that are capable of reducing emissions from the aviation sector in the UK within the near-term.

The objectives for projects receiving financial support are:

  • Technology demonstration: materially progress a project towards First-Of-A-Kind (FOAK) commercial production of an eligible SAF pathway.
  • Fuel production: materially develop a project with the capability to produce commercially significant volumes of SAF, including for the purposes of attaining certification.
  • Commercial potential: materially develop a strategy for commercialising the technology and the products from the project, demonstrating the potential for significant value to the UK.
  • Emissions reduction: demonstrate the potential for greenhouse gas reductions of a technology pathway vs a fossil fuel equivalent.
  • Project execution: bring together a team with the necessary expertise and experience to deliver the project according to its objectives.

Competition documents

Please download competition documents using the links below.

  • GFGS guidance document(PDF)
  • GFGS Stakeholder enquiries – 25 May 2021
  • GFGS Stakeholder session slide pack
  • GFGS Briefing pack
  • GFGS application form - (MS Word)
    • Appendix D - A detailed project budget for the grant funded activities and Appendix G - An outline risk assessment (MS Excel worksheets – combined in one workbook)
    • Appendix H - A lifecycle GHG emissions estimate for your project’s jet fuel output (template as provided) with supporting evidence for assumptions used (to be completed by the applicant).
    • Appendix E - A projected cash-flow model for the future commercial plant (MS Excel).
  • GFGS - Example grant agreement

Updated December 2021 – Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) competition: winning projects

In July 2021, eight industry-led projects were shortlisted to receive a share of £15 million in the Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) competition for the development of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) production plants in the UK.

The Department for Transport has now confirmed that all eight of the shortlisted projects have secured grant offers for a share of the £15m funding pot. Payment of grant funds will be subject to meeting pre-agreed project milestones.

The winning proposals include plants aiming to produce jet fuel from:

  • combining carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere with hydrogen from water
  • alcohol derived from wastes
  • everyday household and commercial black bag rubbish
  • sewage

All selected projects have a clear potential to produce SAF capable of reducing emissions by more than 70% on a lifecycle basis when used in place of conventional fossil jet fuel.

Specifically, the competition supports large-scale SAF production projects with their early-stage development, often referred to as:

  • front end engineering design (FEED)
  • pre-FEED
  • feasibility study

Research indicates that by 2040 the SAF sector could generate between £0.7 billion and £1.66 billion a year for the UK economy, with potentially half of this coming from the export of intellectual property and the provision of engineering services.

The industry could create between 5,000 and 11,000 green jobs, disproportionately in areas aligned with the levelling up agenda. It could also increase UK fuel security.

The competition builds on the work of previous Department for Transport industry competitions, including the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition (ABDC) and the ongoing Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C) with the aim of unlocking the future environmental and economic benefits an advanced fuels industry can bring to the UK.

Ricardo Energy and Environment along with E4tech will support the delivery of the competition.

Winning organisations

Advanced Biofuel Solutions Ltd
Grant offer: £2,054,000

Advanced Biofuel Solutions Ltd (ABSL) will work with a British refinery and British engineering company to produce a detailed engineering design for a new facility in Cheshire. The plant will use gasification and Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology to convert 133,000 tonnes of waste a year into a biocrude that can be upgraded to aviation fuel.

alfanar Energy Ltd
Grant offer: £2,417,500
alfanar’s lighthouse green fuels (LGF) project, located in Tees Valley, will use gasification and FT technology to convert household and commercial waste into around 180 million litres of SAF and naphtha. The project is currently completing design optimisation work ahead of starting FEED by the end of 2021.

Fulcrum BioEnergy Ltd
Grant offer: £1,372,957

The Fulcrum NorthPoint project, being developed at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in Ellesmere Port, will use proven technology and processes based on the company’s first commercial-scale facility currently being commissioned in the US. Once fully operational, NorthPoint will convert residual waste into around 100 million litres of SAF using gasification and FT technology. Funding will support the FEED stage of project work.

Green Fuels Research Ltd
Grant offer: £1,940,255

The firefly project is a joint endeavour between Green Fuels, Petrofac and Cranfield University that aims to demonstrate and certify a technology route to SAF from sewage sludge, a fully biogenic, UK-derived waste feedstock. Funding will support the project’s pre-FEED development stage.

Lanzatech UK Ltd
Grant offer: £3,152,619

Funding will support the FEED stage of a proposed Lanzatech facility, located in Port Talbot, South Wales. The facility will produce over 100 million litres a year of SAF, using ethanol from biogenic wastes and industry flue gases, with the potential to support significant jobs in the area.

Lanzatech UK Ltd and Carbon Engineering
Grant offer: £340,674

This feasibility study project proposes the integration of innovative technologies to produce over 100 million litres per year of SAF. Carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from the atmosphere using Carbon Engineering’s direct air capture (DAC) technology, and hydrogen from water electrolysis, will be converted into SAF using LanzaTech’s gas fermentation and LanzaJetTM’s alcohol-to-jet technology developed by LanzaTech and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Project members British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will study offtake potential and go-to-market routes for the fuel.

Nova Pangaea Technologies (UK) Ltd
Grant offer: £484,201

This feasibility project is a partnership between British Airways, LanzaJet and Nova Pangaea Technologies. It will study the optimal design to construct a facility that produces more than 100 million litres a year using UK woody residues and the integration of Nova Pangaea’s REFNOVA® and LanzaJetTM’s alcohol-to-jet fuel technology.

Velocys Projects Ltd
Grant offer: £2,381,000

The Altalto project is being developed by Velocys and British Airways, to build a commercial waste-to-SAF plant in Immingham, Lincolnshire. Altalto will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year of black bag waste and convert it into SAF using gasification and FT technology. The project has received planning consent from North East Lincolnshire Council and funding will support progress towards FEED.