Clermont Ferrand becomes first airport in France to offer SAF on ongoing basis

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Manged by the French airport operator,  VINCI Airports, Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport is the first French airport to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) available to its users. The SAF is being supplied by Air bp.

The airport’s first SAF fuelling took place on 19 April when Air bp customer, Michelin Air Services, uplifted the fuel. Michelin will be supplied according to agreed commitments for ongoing supply at the airport with all its volume supplied as the SAF blend. This demand from Michelin means that approximately 30% of the airport’s total volume will be supplied as this SAF blend.

Other customers are also encouraged to come forward and work together with the airport and fuel supplier to establish an agreement for the supply of SAF. The SAF supplied by Air bp is made from waste based sustainable feedstocks such as used cooking oil, which is blended with traditional jet fuel. The SAF supplied is around 35% SAF and the SAF component provides a lifecycle carbon reduction of around 80% compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces.

The supply of SAF is one of the key items on VINCI Airports’ environmental commitment to decarbonising aviation, as they can be implemented easily, while other technological innovations, such as hydrogen-powered aircraft are still being developed.

“Sustainable biofuels are a short-term solution to decarbonise aviation, and are an integral part of the ambitious environmental strategy we have been pursuing since 2015 to reduce our carbon footprint and engage our stakeholders in the same movement,” said Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and Chairman of VINCI Airports.

Highlighting the importance of collaboration between fuel supplier, airport and customer in driving demand for SAF, Corine Brunet, CEO Michelin Air Services said: “With Air bp, Michelin Air Services has found a partner that listens, makes proposals and is efficient in its implementation of this shared approach to seeking lower carbon options in the aviation sector.”

Meanwhile, Andreea Moyes, Sustainability Director, Air bp, said: “We are excited to see our first ongoing SAF supply in France. Air bp is a strong facilitator in the supply of SAF and recently announced a number of agreements in the UK. This underlines bp’s commitment to working with stakeholders to explore its viable sale and purchase, which we believe is one of the aviation industry’s key routes to reducing carbon emissions and supports bp’s net zero ambition.”

The supply of SAF at Clermont Ferrand follows the ongoing supply of SAF at three UK locations in the last month: London Biggin Hill, Airbus-owned Hawarden Airport in North Wales and Centreline FBO in Bristol.

Telluride Regional Airport receives delivery of SAF from Avfuel

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Avfuel-branded Telluride Regional Airport has become the first airport and FBO in Colorado to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) available to its customers. The FBO received its first demonstrative delivery of SAF from Avfuel in Februrary, with two more deliveries made in March.

Telluride Regional Airport has since begun to receive regular deliveries of Neste’s branded SAF from Avfuel. The first load arrived on 15 April, with each truckload of the Neste MY SAF providing a 22 metric ton reduction in carbon emissions over its lifecycle, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 28.7 acres of US forests per year.

Telluride Regional Ariport can now consistently provide SAF for all jet and turbine aircraft that land at the airport in order to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainability goals.

“Our community desires to do its part in reducing carbon emissions,” said Kenneth Maenpa, Telluride’s Airport Manager. “As such, we are proud to be the first airport in Colorado to provide sustainable aviation fuel. Avfuel has worked diligently on the logistics for delivering SAF to Telluride Regional Airport, and we’re excited to announced this significant milestone that’s been three years in the making.”

Keith Sawyer, Avfuel’s Manager of Alternative Fuels, added: “Avfuel is thankful for the true partnership it has with the Telluride Regional Airport team, working together to provide cleaner solutions in one of the world’s most stunning natural environments. We congratulate the airport on being the first to provide SAF in the state of Colorado, which not only provides significant emissions reductions, but also raises awareness on the environmental benefits and safety of the product.”

Open 365 days a year, the Telluride Regional Airport is North America’s highest commercial airport at 9,070 feet above sea level and is a self-sustaining operation.

Rotterdam The Hague Airport is part of consortium launching SAF produced from air

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Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Rotterdam The Hague Innovation Airport, alongside SkyNRG and Climeworks are taking the next step in realising Zenid – a demonstration plant producing fully circular sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from air.

With the global aviation industry now more focused on sustainability than ever before as it looks to ‘build back better’ following the global COVID-19 pandemic, SAF made from air via direct air capture offers a carbon-neutral solution for aviation and contributes to the aviation industry’s net-zero targets.

The consortium has agreed to investigate the construction of a demonstration plant producing fully circular SAF with 100% CO2 derived from teh air. The plant will be powered by regionally sourced renewable energy and combines several innovative technologies: a direct air capture plant provides CO2 to a highly efficient co-electrolysis unit, that turns the CO2 and added water into syngas. The syngas is then transformed into liquid hydrocarbons by  a modular Fischer-Tropsch reactor and then refined into SAF.

Ron Louwerse from Rotterdam The Hague Airport commented that the airport is proud to be one of the kick-starters of the groundbreaking project together with the Schiphol Group and Rotterdam The Hague Innovation Airport (RHIA). “It fits exceptionally well within our strategy to facilitate and accelerate sustainability and innovation in aviation, to be at the cradle of SAF made of CO2 from air. We support this project with our know how and local networks.”

Global energy company Uniper, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support Zenid with engineering and operating expertise.

Editor’s comment: Sustainable team players

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With passengers now looking to travel more responsibly than ever, stakeholders across the aviation sector are upping the ante when it comes to demonstrating their sustainability commitment.

Aviation fuel supplier Avfuel is no exception. In response to growing demand from its customers, including FBOs and airports, it has teamed up with Neste – the worldʼs leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – to create a continuous supply of SAF in the US. Under the new strategic partnership, Avfuel will be branded a SAF distributor for Neste, and will sell it under the brand name Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Neste expects to have the capacity to produce some 1.5 million tons (515 million gallons) of SAF annually by 2023.

Avfuelʼs President and CEO, Craig Sincock, described the partnership as an “exciting development” and a “natural next step in response to aviationʼs growing demand for SAF.” He also said that, “Together, we are able to support aviationʼs sustainability goals and enhance supply availability at a commercial scale, filling an immense gap in the industryʼs supply chain.”

Marking a milestone as Avfuelʼs first customer to receive a consistent supply of SAF, Monterey Jet Center – an Avfuel-branded FBO based in California – is due to take delivery of the fuel in the first quarter of 2021. Prior to rolling out the programme to a larger customer base, Neste and Avfuel will work alongside Monterey Jet Center to ensure the entire supply chain, from production through to invoicing, functions smoothly.

Referencing the collaboration with Avfuel, Chris Cooper, Neste’s Vice President, Renewable Aviation, North America, highlighted that it’s about much more than just creating a supply chain. “We are really providing passengers with a meaningful way to reduce their carbon footprint when travelling on a business or private aircraft. Thanks to great partners like Avfuel, travellers who care about the health of our planet will be able to choose to board an aircraft flying on SAF.”

While it’s sometimes hard to find the positive stories amid the turmoil that continues to unfold across the aviation industry as a result of COVID-19, this latest partnership is certainly one to celebrate.

I hope you enjoy reading this week’s newsletter and for more on the relationship between fuel suppliers and FBOs as well as how these partnerships can benefit an airport, read our feature onʻThe perfect pairingʼ in the latest issue of Regional Gateway magazine.

Chloë Greenbank

Editor, Regional Gateway.

Signature partners with Neste to offer continuous supply of SAF

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Signature Flight Support, Neste and NetJets have celebrated the delivery of an initial ceremonial gallon of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in the US and London Luton in the UK. This initial delivery marks the start of a global initiative to provide a permanently available supply of SAF to private aircraft.

Through its company-wide Signature Renew programme, Signature Flight Support has partnered with Neste in making low emission, renewable fuel a reality for business aviation, starting with two of Signature’s locations on its global network. By offering a consistent blended SAF supply Signature Renew is providing a safe and dependable low-emission option via Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel at SFO. This investment will allow customers such as NetJets, which was the inaugural recipient for the first uplift of SAF in San Francisco and Luton, to help meet their own sustainability goals by taking advantage of more than a 25% reduction in direct net lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from this blended fuel.

“The wait for SAF is over. We’re filling aircraft right now – thousands of gallons a day, every day – at SFO and Luton to meet the growing market demand,” said Tony Lefebvre, COO for Signature.

SAF is the cornerstone of aviation’s answer to environmental responsibility. Creating an affordable alternative to traditional Jet A is vital to ensuring we’re able to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint. We’re proud to be able to deliver this capability to all private aviation customers at SFO and Luton and look forward to growing our capacity at additional locations and launching new sustainability programmes next year.

As a leading producer and supplier of renewable fuels Neste is committed to helping grow the supply of SAF globally. It expects to have the capacity to produce some 1.5 million tonnes of SAF annually by 2023. As a drop-in fuel offering an immediate way to reduce the direct greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft, SAF requires no new investments or modifications to aircraft or airport fuel distribution systems. When used in its neat form, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% over its lifecycle compared to traditional fossil jet fuel.

Commenting on the collaboration with Signature and NetJets, Neste’s VP Renewable Aviation North Amercia, Chris Cooper, said the partnership is driven by two things: “The demand for private and business air travel is growing and the people onboard these aircraft want their carbon footprint to go down. Neste, Signature and NetJets, as industry leaders, decided to work together to connect the dots from fuel production, to supply and distribution and to aircraft operations to make sustainable business and private air travel a reality. This is just a first step and I look forward to working with these great partners to get more SAF to more airports and in more aircraft.”

As the primary launch customer, NetJets has committed to purchase up to 3 million gallons of SAF through Signature Renew for all flights out of SFO and its Columbus International Airport home base in Ohio.

“Sustainability has been foremost on the mind of our clients and of NetJets, as we recently announced our expanded Global Sustainability Program,” said Brad Ferrell, NetJets Executive Vice President Administrative Services. “Signature and Neste have provided the solution for SAF in the market, and NetJets’ purchasing commitment helps ensure SAF’s continued availability. We are proud to join our partners in taking the lead in commercialising renewable fuel sources and adoption.”

Neste partners with Shell to increase supply of SAF

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Neste, the leading producer of renewable fuels, and aviation fuel giant Shell have signed an agreement to increase the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The agreement, which will see the significant increase in the supply and availability of SAF from October 2020 anticipates the increasing desire from airports and airlines to reduce emissions.

“To tackle climate change and reach net zero emissions, the aviation industry must act fast,” said Anna Mascolo, President, Shell Aviation. The fuel supplier aims to reduce the carbon intensity of the fuels it sells by offering lower-carbon fuels such as SAF over time. “Today’s agreement with Neste will help shell Aviation customers to lower their emissions and demonstrates the kind of progress we can delivery by working in collaboration with others,” she continued.

Meanwhile Neste’s Executive Vice President for Renewable Aviation, Thorsten Lange, underlined that the aviation industry is essential for global business. He said it also generates growth and will help facilitate  economic recovery. “It also enables people to travel and goods to be transported rapidly across the globe. But if we are to address aviation-related emissions, we need to utilise all the available solutions. SAF offers the only viable alternative to fossil liquid fuels for powering commercial aircraft with an immediate potential to reduce aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions. We are fully committed to supporting the aviation industry, its customers and corporates with their emission reduction targets.”

Header image: Shell refuelling photo taken pre-COVID-19 impact

Coalition releases new sustainable aviation fuel guide

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The Business Aviation Coalition for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF Coalition) has released a second edition of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Guide.

Fueling the Future serves as an educational and informational resource about the practicalities of SAF development, industry adoption, and pending expansion of supply and use, primarily from the perspectives of the business aviation community.

“The single-largest potential reduction in aviation’s GHG emissions — and the key to reaching our goals — will come about through the broad adoption of sustainable aviation fuel in place of the current conventional jet fuel,” the coalition concludes in the guide.

The SAF Coalition – which includes the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) – developed the guide.

The coalition’s Steering Committee includes dozens of aviation businesses, representing every point in the SAF development-and-supply chain, and all of which provided real-world expertise in the development of the guide.

“It is very encouraging to see the continuously increasing interest from the business aviation community to use SAF to address sustainability goals,” commented Steve Csonka, CAAFI Executive Director. “Although a modest user of the worldwide production of jet fuel, their exuberant interest in acquiring supply will clearly help accelerate SAF production ramp-up, one of the entire aviation industry’s key needs. We hope this guide helps amplify the opportunity and response.”

“We are proud of the steps this coalition has taken to demonstrate the business aviation community’s commitment to a cleaner future,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We have made great progress on Sustainable Aviation Fuel in recent years. Our goal now is to increase SAF supplies as much as we can, as fast as we can, to make our sustainability goals a reality.”

Image: Mats Karlen

Air bp and Neste increase supply of sustainable aviation fuel in Europe

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Air bp and Neste are to increase the availability of SAF to various European airport customers in 2020 and 2021. Deliveries are expected to begin in the coming weeks with Stockholm (ARN) and Oslo (OSL) among the first recipients.

The increased supply of SAF, the volume is five times larger than that supplied by the businesses in 2019, comes in response to rising demand from existing and new airline customers, as well as from Norway, where there is a mandate requiring 0.5% of all jet fuel sold to be SAF.

“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,” said Martin

Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel annual capacity is currently 100,000 tons. With their Singapore refinery expansion on the way, and with possible additional investment into their Rotterdam refinery, Neste will have the capacity to produce some 1.5 million tons of SAF annually by 2023.

First European Sustainable Aviation Fuel Price Assessments launched

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S&P Global Platts has launched a daily Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) price assessment in Europe which shows the cost of SAF produced from used cooking oil on an ex-refinery basis in Northwest Europe. The daily price assessments, published in dollars per metric ton, reflect the production cost of SAFs for blending into jet fuel.

According to Vera Blei, Head of Oil Markets Pricing, S&P Global Platts: “Despite an environment where airlines are under exceptional pressure from demand destruction, the green agenda is still being progressed and airlines remain committed to decarbonisation. While the Sustainable Aviation Fuel market evolves with the emergence of a spot market, our new cost-based assessment will add critical transparency allowing market participants to compare the price of traditional jet fuel with the cost of new Sustainable Aviation Fuel.”

Platts is already considering additional assessments in other geographies, including the US and Asia.

The new Platts SAF assessments follow extensive consultation with producers, consumers, traders and others in the European oil and biofuel markets as the demand for sustainable aviation fuel grows in consumption and supply.

The Platts SAF assessment assumptions have been calculated by S&P Global Platts Analytics based on existing Platts assessments and other fixed costs. The SAF inputs are costs of Used Cooking Oil CIF ARA and Hydrogen Netherlands, added to fixed renewable biojet refinery costs, then deducting the by-product credits to include FOB ARA Propane, Naphtha CIF NWE cargoes and Diesel CIF NWE ARA Cargoes. S&P Global Platts will review the specifications and assumptions going forward based on market feedback and as the SAF market develops.