man inspecting airplane wing

Sustainable aviation fuel to be supplied to Airbus delivery flights

International aviation fuel products and service supplier Air bp has started collaborating with Airbus to supply sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to propel the aircraft manufacturer’s facility for delivery flights in Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport. Pioneering this partnership are two Air Transat A321LR aircraft destined for Montreal, Canada. In utilizing SAF for these flights, Air bp established a supply route, including transportation and storage facilities. Last December 2019, Air bp also supplied SAF for transportation flights from Hamburg by the Airbus A300-600ST Beluga, as part of this agreement.

“We are excited to extend our collaboration with Airbus to fuel delivery flights from Hamburg for the first time with sustainable aviation fuel, building on previous delivery flights from Mobile, Alabama. Air bp’s ambition is to be a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world to get to net zero. We believe SAF is one of the aviation industry’s key routes to reducing carbon emissions, and we are committed to supporting our customers to realize their low carbon ambitions,” said Air bp CEO Martin Thomsen.

The SAF supplied is produced by Neste, and is made from non-palm renewable and sustainable raw materials, and can reduce up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions over its life cycle compared to conventional jet fuel. Neste creates sustainable solutions for transport, business, and consumer needs. It is also the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, introducing renewable solutions even to the aviation and plastics industries.

Since 2010, Air bp has been supplying SAF to 16 airports and 20 customers globally and Germany since late 2019. In 2018, Air bp agreed to a collaboration with Neste to develop SAF supply chains.

beginner's guide to sustainable aviation fuel

Increased SAF in Europe

Meanwhile, Air bp and Neste recently signed an agreement to offer an increased volume of SAF to airport customers in 2020 and 2021. Volume-wise, it will be five times larger than that supplied by the businesses in 2019 and will be available at selected airports in Europe, with deliveries to airports including Stockholm and Oslo expected to begin in the coming weeks. This move represents a response to rising demand from existing and new airline customers and Norway, where there is a mandate requiring 0.5% of all jet fuel sold to be SAF.

Since the SAF produced by Neste is derived from 100% renewable waste and residue raw materials, it can reduce up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional jet fuel. SAF undergoes the same quality tests as regular fossil jet fuel and can be blended up to 50% to fuel aircraft. Currently, SAF offers the only viable drop-in alternative to liquid fossil fuels for powering commercial aircraft.

“Air bp’s ambition is to be a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net zero. Air bp aims to support our customers and the wider aviation industry on their path to meet their low carbon goals. We believe sustainable aviation fuel will play an important role as the industry recovers from the impact of the CoViD-19 pandemic. Through our successful ongoing collaboration with Neste, we are pleased to be able to offer our customers a substantially increased volume of SAF as they work towards reducing their emissions,” said Thomsen.

Neste executive vice president for renewable aviation Thorsten Lange, for his part, said that the CoViD-19 pandemic and its economic implications had not changed their ambition. “We remain fully committed to combating climate change by providing tangible, immediately available solutions for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of flying in cooperation with our partners. The use of sustainable aviation fuel will play a significant role in the industry’s ongoing efforts in making air transportation fit for the climate and environmental challenges it is facing. We are looking forward to continuing our close collaboration with Air bp and jointly contributing to a more sustainable aviation,” he said.

Currently, Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel annual capacity is at 100,000 tons. With their Singapore refinery expansion on the way, and with possible additional investment into their Rotterdam refinery, the company will have the capacity to produce some 1.5 million tons of SAF annually by 2023. (Story and photo courtesy of Air bp)