Leading commodity and energy price provider S&P Global Platts has launched a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) price assessment for the Americas, PR Newswire reported on 21 September.

The move, aimed at bringing transparency to a developing market as the airline industry goes through a period of energy transition, followed the launch of independent price references for sustainable aviation fuel in Europe on 17 August 2020.

“The commitment to decarbonisation is alive and well within the airline sector, despite the travel-related demand devastation brought about by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Ian Dudden, global content director, metals and agriculture, at S&P Global Platts.

“While the spot physical market for sustainable aviation fuels is in its infancy, we’re pleased to be facilitating this market’s emergence with our new cost-based price assessments, which allow for side-by-side comparisons between hydrocarbon-based jet fuel and a green alternative,” he added.

Roman Kramarchuk, S&P Global Platts head of energy scenarios, policy and technology, said the COVID-19 pandemic had had a ‘profound effect’ in the Americas.

“Platts Analytics estimates a 35% reduction in US jet fuel consumption this year, but expects a path to recovery by mid-decade, though still remaining below the levels of recent years,” he said.

The new Platts Americas SAF assessments followed market engagement with producers, consumers, traders and others in the Americas oil and biofuel markets, S&P Global Platts said.

Published from 21 September 2020, the cost-based price assessment would reflect the cost of SAF produced from tallow. The daily price assessments would be expressed in US dollars per gallon and reflect the production costs of SAFs for blending into jet fuel.

In the USA and Canada, the aviation industry in 2019 accounted for around 5%, or nearly 300M tonnes of total energy CO₂ emissions annually, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics, equivalent to 250kg of CO₂ emitted per thousand passengers carried.