May 28 (Reuters) - U.S. billionaire Carl Icahn's CVR Energy
Inc is exploring whether it can produce sustainable
aviation fuel at its refineries, according to three
sources familiar with the matter.
Renewable fuels account for just a fraction of the fuel for
road transportation, but refiners are trying to source different
types of feedstock to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Refiners, including Valero and Phillips 66, are
exploring ways to produce greener aviation fuel from feedstocks
such as grease, animal fats and plant oils, to decarbonize and
meet rising demand.
CVR, a merchant refiner, has already announced plans to
produce renewable fuels at its Wynnewood, Oklahoma, refinery in
the third quarter of this year and said it is exploring options
to produce renewable diesel at its Coffeyville, Kansas refinery.
CVR did not respond to a request for comment.
Some sustainable aviation fuel is created in the process of
producing renewable diesel, but refiners would need to
reconfigure their units to produce it at higher yields.
Airline transport is less likely than passenger cars or
other vehicles to be electrified in coming years, according to
the International Energy Agency, which said in a recent report
that the sector will have to depend on lower-emission fuels.
On Thursday, Icahn told Bloomberg News that he believes
renewable fuels are here to stay, and supports subsidies as part
of an infrastructure bill.
Sustainable aviation fuel costs three or four times more
than traditional jet fuel, making it uneconomical without
government support, according to advocates of the fuel.
U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill last week that would create
a tax incentive of up to $2 for every gallon produced of
sustainable aviation fuel. That price would make it one of the
most expensive subsidies for clean fuel.
(Reporting by Laura Sanicola
Editing by Marguerita Choy)