KeyState Energy, CNX Resources, and Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) will collaborate to develop a sustainable aviation fuel hub at the airport

The integrated facility is capable of producing hydrogen solely, reaching up to 68,000 metric tons annually, or SAF exclusively, up to 70 million gallons per year. The plant will be able to produce both products simultaneously at lower varying individual volumes and customize production to meet specific demands. Building upon CNX and PIT's previously announced alternative fuel strategy in 2022, this initiative supports the United States’ national goal of significantly reducing hard-to-abate sectors' emissions by 2030, positioning the region as a key player in the hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel industries.

KeyState and CNX recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to advance the approximately $1.5bn project that, if the US Department of Treasury enables a pathway for ultra-low carbon intensity fugitive coal mine methane (CMM) under the 45V Hydrogen Production Tax Credit, is expected to support 3,000 direct construction jobs through the development phase. The partners are evaluating several potential market targets for the usage of SAF in the aviation industry and clean hydrogen for local heavy trucks and equipment, and power generation, among other applications for hard-to-abate sectors of the economy.

Additionally, the groups announced they are seeking a federal grant to conduct a logistics study to inform a project hub and transportation network investment strategy. Using FAST SAF grant funds under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Tier 1 logistics study would advance local SAF development by informing how fuels produced at PIT can be cost-effectively transported to nearby airports throughout the Northeast and Midwest. The partners plan to evaluate transporting SAF through various modes, including the use of existing or constructing new pipeline infrastructure, barge, and rail. Providing excess SAF to other regional airports will increase energy security, reduce dependence on foreign supply chains, and reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.

Successful completion of the logistics study could yield significant investment in constructing the hydrogen and SAF facility on PIT grounds, which would double onsite fuel storage and further stabilise fuel supply in the event of disruptions.

“Pittsburgh is once again leading the way on energy toward a more sustainable future,” said Pittsburgh International Airport CEO Christina Cassotis. “Increasing SAF and hydrogen production in the US is a necessary first step in reducing carbon output to meet upcoming industry goals, helping aviation earn its right to grow and moving further toward a cleaner, greener future. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners, CNX and KeyState Energy, in cementing Pittsburgh International Airport and our region as a global leader in sustainable energy.”

The project would leverage, pending the outcome of forthcoming US Department of Treasury implementation rules for the IRA's tax credit provisions, ultra-low carbon intensity waste CMM emissions as feedstock to create low-cost, low-carbon alternative fuels. As part of the project's development, the partners intend to clarify that the products meet the requirements and specifications for clean hydrogen and SAF as determined by the applicable agency.

KeyState serves as project developer and, with its development partners, will secure project financing while CNX will provide feedstock services and other technical engineering support to the project. The airport will provide strategic advisory planning and industry expertise.

The PIT plant will be able to produce SAF and hydrogen simultaneously
The PIT plant will be able to produce SAF and hydrogen simultaneously Pittsburgh International Airport