Phillips 66 Renews Commitment to Sustainable Aviation Fuel

The Phillips 66 refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area is being overhauled to become the world’s largest renewable fuels plant. Courtesy Phillips 66

When renewable fuel production begins in early 2024 at the renewed Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo, California, near San Francisco, it will be impossible to find a drop of crude oil, or conventional gasoline or diesel products at the site. Instead, raw materials such as used cooking oil, fats, greases, and soybean oils will be refined to produce renewable diesel and gasoline, and sustainable jet fuel (SAF).

The Phillips 66 Rodeo Renewed Project will combine the production of renewable fuels from an existing project in development to produce greater than 800 million gallons a year of renewable fuels, making it the world’s largest facility of its kind.

“Phillips 66 Aviation is devoted to supplying the industry with the products our customers want—now and in the future,” said Lindsey Grant, Phillips 66 general aviation manager. “With the demand for renewable fuels growing, we’re excited to help push the aviation industry forward by helping increase production of sustainable jet fuel. We expect the converted Rodeo plant, if approved, to produce 680 million gallons of renewable fuel a year, of which about 20 percent will be jet fuel. We’re committed to the future of the aviation industry, and we’re honored to work alongside other industry leaders to make sustainable jet fuel commercially available.”

The Rodeo Renewed Project is part of an overall initiative by Phillips 66 to manufacture, transport, and sell products in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Since 2015, the company has invested approximately $7 billion in environmental protection projects and sustaining capital. The company uses energy and resources efficiently, invests in research and development, and supports various habitat and conservation efforts. These efforts are outlined in the company’s 2020 Sustainability Report.

Phillips 66’s Rodeo, CA refinery is set to receive a refresh in order to become a renewable fuels plant. Courtesy Phillips 66

“For the better part of a century, Phillips 66 Aviation has propelled the aviation industry forward through innovative fuels that meet industry demands,” Grant added. “This conversion is part of our response to the growing demand for high quality, lower carbon, cleaner-burning fuel, and increased interest in sustainable jet fuel.”

Phillips 66 is one of the largest refiners in the United States and a top supplier of jet fuels and avgas to private, commercial, and military aviation. Currently, Phillips 66 Aviation supplies jet fuel and avgas to a network of more than 800 fixed base operators (FBOs).

According to Phillips 66, the Rodeo refinery has operated in Contra Costa County for 124 years. Once completed, the new plant will employ more than 400 green jobs and create 500 new construction jobs over the life of the project. “As always, we are focused on blue-collar jobs for Californians,” said Robbie Hunter, president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. “As energy needs and technologies evolve, the Building Trades will be there with the most highly trained tradespeople in the world, and we look forward to our continued partnership with Phillips 66 at Rodeo Renewed.”

Dan Pimentel is an instrument-rated private pilot and former airplane owner who has been flying since 1996. As an aviation journalist and photographer, he has covered all aspects of the general and business aviation communities for a long list of major aviation magazines, newspapers and websites. He has never met a flying machine that he didn’t like, and has written about his love of aviation for years on his Airplanista blog. For 10 years until 2019, he hosted the popular ‘Oshbash’ social media meetup events at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

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