The ReFuelEU Aviation regulation which was proposed by the European Commission seems to meet its goal, which is reviving the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) market. The proposed regulation seeks the imposition to expand the SAF percentage for flights departing from EU airports from the year 2025. Various long-term SAF derivation projects and agreements have been inked by airlines to develop the refinery infrastructure to be used for non-conventional jet fuel production, closing contracts worth $17 billion, estimated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is expected to reach to $30 billion in 2025.
Clearly, European Airlines are not alone to increase its SAF contracts, but its efforts to purchase large quantities of SAF have visibly accelerated. For example, express delivery unit Delhivery of Germany inked a five-year agreement in March with refiner and biofuel maker Nestle to supply over 800 million liters of SAF produced from waste oils. Described as one of the largest SAF deals in aviation by DHL, these transactions will go over 50% of DHL Express’s goal to achieve 10% SAF blending for all air transport by 2026. The company has committed to using 30% of SAF by 2030 under its sustainability targets.
Luis Gallego, the CEO of International Airlines Group has mentioned that they are trying their best to purchase 1 million tonnes of SAF every year.
Luis Gallego, the CEO of International Airlines Group has mentioned that they are trying their best to purchase 1 million tonnes of SAF every year to reach its target to support 10 percent of its flights with SAF by 2030. IAG has settled partnerships and agreements with appearing sustainable fuel technology companies Velocys and Lanza to produce SAF as the company has committed to invest $400 million in the upcoming 20 years for the SAF development. A new household waste-to-jet fuel plan is also included in the investment that will be operational in 2015. British Airways, the UK airline of IAG will also purchase sustainable jet fuel from the US plant of LanzaJet to support some of its flights later in 2022.
Iberia has also agreed to team up with Repsol, a Spanish energy company to secure a stable supply of SAF. On June 1, the Madrid-based airline conducted a series of transatlantic flights using Airbus A330-200s propelled by a 2% biofuel blend. Other instances of the increasing interest by refineries or other energy manufacturing companies to bolster jet fuel production with low carbon emissions in Europe include a $203 million investment by Nestle, to transform the already existing renewable potential in Rotterdam to enable the SAF production from waste and residue.
E-fuel projects have also been introduced in the country by several companies including Synkero.
According to the NLR analysis, only a “fraction” of the estimated fuel demand could be satisfied by the amount of SAF projected to be generated by 2050 from bio-based feedstocks that would be accessible in the Netherlands. E-fuel projects have also been introduced in the country by several companies including Synkero, a Dutch start-up planning to enhance the capability of a commercial plant for producing 50,000 tonnes of e-fuel every year.
The greatest thing in the process to produce SAF is the variety in technology according to Kueper. However, it is preferable to choose SAF with high sustainability profiles (those with more capability to reduce CO2 and manufactured using sustainable-certified feedstock) he noted adding that investing in research and development will help different parts of the world diversify their fuel alternatives. Other than that, the right government support is also vital in order to reduce the cost of the units of these technologies as the government has profitably handled domestic renewable energy like wind and solar.