Future of Alternative Fuels

The Defense Logistics Agency’s Defense Energy Support Center and Air Transport Association of America Inc. have signed a strategic alliance agreement recognizing a partnership for the development and deployment of alternative aviation fuels.


FORT BELVOIR, Va. – The Defense Logistics Agency’s Defense Energy Support Center and Air Transport Association of America, Inc., signed a strategic alliance agreement today in Washington, D.C., recognizing a partnership for the development and deployment of alternative aviation fuels.

The agreement highlights the shared goals of the Department of Defense and the principal U.S. airlines to advance the development and deployment of commercially viable, environmentally friendly, alternative aviation fuels.

“This is a significant step forward in the alternative fuels arena, and further shows commitment by the Department of Defense and the commercial aviation industry in our mutual goal of promoting energy security and safeguarding the health of our environment,” DESC Commander Rear Adm. Kurt Kunkel said.

The intent of the strategic alliance is to establish a collaborative forum focused on spurring aviation alternative fuels market growth.

“By collaborating, we reinforce our commitment to fostering the widespread commercialization of alternative jet fuel,” said James C. May, president and CEO of ATA. “In the evolving landscape of alternative energy, it is in our collective interest to see aviation at the forefront.

“The airline industry and DoD collectively require more than 1.5 million barrels of jet fuel per day,” added May. “By combining our talents and experience, we are better positioned to explore cooperative market engagement for fuel, improve the financial prospects for alternative fuels infrastructure, accelerate fuel certification efforts and refine our methodology for determining environmental impacts.”

Kunkel noted that energy security impacts all DoD readiness, operations and business decisions. The DESC, along with the Federal Government and the rest of DoD, is transforming with regard to alternative fuel and renewable energy.

“Doing what is right for our armed forces is an ingrained piece of our mission at the Defense Logistics Agency and DESC. It drives us forward. Doing what is right also means doing what is efficient and in the best interest of our environment, while continuing to move forward with technology and energy advancements,” Kunkel said. “The strategic alliance represents this commitment.”

The alliance directs the formation of three collaborative teams composed of ATA and DESC representatives, with each team focused on specific developmental and marketing models of the alternative fuels goals.

May said that the Environment Team will identify common methodologies for life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions for alternative aviation fuels. The Deployment and Logistics team will identify locations or regions suitable for alternative fuels production and deployment, as well as means of distribution to and from those locations. The Contracting and Finance team will jointly publicize supply opportunities, explore opportunities for complementary fuel-supply agreements and develop compatible pricing and finance mechanisms.

Already, the alliance teams are scheduled to participate in a special aviation session at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference, Apr. 27-29 in Washington, D.C. They will also hold an industry forum at the 2010 DESC Worldwide Energy Conference where they will meet jointly with alternative fuel suppliers to discuss an array of projects across the country to deploy alternative aviation fuels. The Worldwide Conference is scheduled for May 10-12 in National Harbor, Md.

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