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NWABF Enlists Senior Energy Executives to Boost Aviation Biofuel Initiatives

David P. Smoot

Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels (NWABF), known for its ability to produce sustainable jet fuel capacity for the financial marketplace and lender communities, announced new additions to its team as it moves forth on creating aviation biofuel resources for its major airline partner. 

Stefan Unnasch, Managing Director of Life Cycle Associates and Nausher Khan, former Senior Business Development Manager for NAES Corporation, have been contracted to work with NWABF to oversee specific areas relating to the sustainable aviation fuel announcement with a major Air Line, made in February 2020. 

Mr. Unnasch is serving as a sustainability consultant and is involved in organizing and evaluating the process technologies for engineering studies. He currently oversees all of the technology providers, examining the lifecycle of the greenhouse gas emissions, and assessing how the configurations affect the overall carbon footprint for the project. 

Mr. Khan will serve as the Director of Project Development, ensuring that all the project components are being met and the required activities are done accurately, within budget and adhering to Contract time frames. 

“It’s a very exciting project and I’m extremely happy with the team and the work that has preceded prior to me becoming a part,” said Mr. Khan. “We are now in the latter stage of getting all the development pieces together, and actually start executing the project in terms of various engineering studies with construction to follow.”

The two men are already working with NWABF Manager Dave Smoot and his team to finalize the involvement of the technology companies, as well as the engineering, procurement and construction companies to fulfill the goals of this project. 

“I am thrilled to have Stefan and Nausher come on board with us as we navigate the next steps in our sustainable aviation fuel project,” says Dave Smoot, Manager of Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels. “It’s great getting to work with seasoned industry veterans like Stefan and Nausher to leverage their insights, knowledge and sustainable industry connections. Together, we are already making significant progress to meet the requirements for the project.” 

Mr. Stefan Unnasch

Mr. Unnasch is managing director of Life Cycle Associates, and a veteran sustainable industry expert. He has long been regarded as one of the top minds in the sustainable energy arena, especially fuels, and he and his consultancy have been involved in many projects that are integral to the growth of the industry, including: 

  • Managing the life cycle GHG studies for fuel developers and developing new sustainability assessment tool
  • Helping biofuel developers assess their GHG footprint under government regulations including the EPA RFS2, California LCFS, EISA Section 526, aviation fuel sustainability programs, and the European Renewable Energy Directive
  • Documenting the carbon intensity for a number of alternative and renewable transportation fuel pathways using GREET results, as well as quantifying other life cycle impacts of these pathways

Joining the NWABF team is a natural fit for Mr. Unnasch. He says the opportunity helps him to continue to share the “the most complete knowledge of all of the low-carbon fuel policies and greenhouse-gas reduction, calculation methods, and an understanding of how it actually works.”

Mr. Nausher Khan

Mr. Khan was a significant business development presence at NAES Corporation for the past 17 years. He was a major contributor for broadening the company’s current portfolio to about 350-plus projects, from around 30 projects when he started with the company in 2002. In the past decade, he worked on developing renewable fuel projects, and these projects eventually brought him into contact with NWABF Manager Dave Smoot. Smoot and Nausher first began working together in 2013 while with NAES. The timing was fortuitous, and in 2020, he has begun to lend his considerable industry understanding to the NWABF project. 

CORSIA Moving Ahead Despite Less Air Travel 

The coronavirus has impacted air travel around the world. The airline industry group IATA (International Air Transport Association) predicts airlines could lose nearly $40 billion in revenues because of the lost passenger and cargo business in Q2 2020. 

However, at the same time, the CORSIA agreement moves ahead. In March 2020, The International Civil Aviation Organization gave the go-ahead approval for six offset programs for use under CORSIA. The programs under the 2021-2023 CORSIA pilot program are: 

The CORSIA mandate still calls for the United States, along with EU countries, Japan, Canada and the UK to participate in the pilot phase of the program.

Locally sourced wood suppliers 

Having access to a secure source of feedstock is very important. The NWABF experts are already assessing and choosing wood suppliers for the project. Determining the local suppliers with Washington state regulators is very critical to a fuel project to hedge against any type of supply chain interruption. The team has already made headway, lining up multiple woody biomass suppliers for our project, in excess of 300% of the amount of wood that is required for the Project.

Project Background

The sustainable aviation fuel partnership with a major Air Lines involved the airline investing into NWABF’s Project in 2019 to develop sustainable aviation fuel, (SAF), as well as making carbon offsets. NWABF will be the primary provider of sustainable aviation fuel to help the airline become carbon neutral. The project is happening via the advancement of technology, which lessens the costs across industries. “NWABF offers a risk-averse solution to the emissions and sustainability issues airlines face at home and abroad with petroleum-based fuel. As a result of this partnership and for the first time ever, near emission-free, renewable, designer SAF will be available at competitive prices,” Smoot said in a recent press release.

For more information on the NWABF project, please contact us at info@nwabf.com.




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