KeyState Energy, CNX Resources and PIT will collaborate to deliver the project, which is expected to be capable of producing up to 68,000 tonnes per year of hydrogen or exclusively 70 million gallons of SAF annually, or both but at lower volumes.

However, the feasibility of the project could ultimately depend on whether the 45V regulation is updated. Both KeyState and CNX signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to advance the $1.5bn project if the US Department of Treasury enables a pathway for ultra-low carbon intensity fugitive coal mine methane (CMM) under the Hydrogen Production Tax Credit.

The companies involved are evaluating potential market targets for the usage of SAF in the aviation industry and clean hydrogen for local heavy trucks and equipment, power generation and other applications for hard-to-abate sectors.

KeyState will act as project developer and will secure project financing, while CNX will provide feedstock services and other technical engineering support to the project. The airport will supply strategic advisory planning and industry experience.

Depending on the outcome of the forthcoming implementation rules for the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) tax credit provisions, the project will leverage ultra-low carbon intensity waste CMM emissions as feedstock to produce the low-cost, low-carbon alternative fuels.

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development found that if CMM is introduced to the IRA, over 30 projects can be deployed in the next 15 years, bringing more than $213bn in economic output.

In addition, the companies involved have revealed they will seek a federal grant to conduct a logistics study to inform a project hub and transportation network investment strategy. H2 View understands they will use FAST SAF grant funds under the IRA and awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration, to perform a Tier 1 logistics study that would advance local SAF development.

Pittsburgh International Airport CEO, Christina Cassotis, claimed that increasing SAF and hydrogen production in the US is a “necessary first step in reducing carbon output,” which will help aviation to decarbonise.

“As the only state to secure two regional clean hydrogen hubs, the future of clean energy is running through Pennsylvania,” explained the State’s Governor, Josh Shapiro. “As we build out these hydrogen hubs over the next several years, we’ll see more innovation, job creation and opportunity coming to our Commonwealth.”

Read more: Pennsylvania to be key beneficiary of US’ $7bn hydrogen hub funding – reports