Fri 22 Jan 2016 – Oslo Airport has become the first in the world to make available to all airlines refuelling at the airport sustainable jet biofuel through its existing fuel farm and hydrant dispenser system. In an initiative involving Avinor, the airport’s operator, and Air BP, along with members of the EU-funded ITAKA project, sustainable jet fuel produced from camelina grown in Spain will be purchased initially by airlines Lufthansa Group, SAS and KLM. The fuel is being supplied by Air BP after processing of the camelina at Neste’s Porvoo refinery in Finland, using its NEXBTL technology. The fuel will enter directly into Oslo’s fuel hydrant system without having to rely on a segregated infrastructure, which the partners say is a breakthrough for the emerging aviation biofuels market. So far, Air BP has agreed to deliver 1.25 million litres to the airport.
David Gilmour, CEO of Air BP, said delivering the jet biofuel through the normal supply mechanism reduces logistics costs significantly. “We want to demonstrate that airports can readily access biofuel with relative ease, utilising existing physical infrastructure,” he said. “We anticipate this will increase interest and demand, as well as contributing to a sustainable biofuel future for the aviation sector.”
The fuel will be initially used by Lufthansa Group, which was the first to confirm its participation in the initiative, followed by SAS and KLM, and the goal is to gradually increase the volume of deliveries in the coming years and establish a regular supply to the airport. Air BP says it has ambitions to becoming “a pioneer in delivering biofuel to the aviation sector.”
The three airlines, said Avinor, had indicated their willingness to pay a price premium for the biofuel, although exact details are not being disclosed. Avinor adds that prices are likely to fall as demand rises and the airlines taking part and using the biofuel can benefit from lower carbon taxes on Norwegian domestic flights and exemptions under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
The state-owned airport operator has also allocated up to NOK 100 million ($11.4m) over the ten-year period 2013-2022 for initiatives that can contribute to the realisation of Norwegian biofuel production. It is exploring opportunities with local aviation interests to establish large-scale production based on biomass from Norwegian forests during the 2020-2025 timeframe.
“We are extremely pleased that we can offer jet biofuel at Oslo Airport. This is in line with climate objectives set by both Avinor and the aviation sector,” said Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen. “We hope this will inspire other airports to follow suit, so that we can all work towards a common goal of climate-neutral aviation.”
Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment said the country was committed to the transition to a low-emission society. “I am pleased the aviation sector wants to participate in this adjustment,” he said. “Biofuel is one of the few alternatives we have at our disposal today that can help achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from aviation, provided the biofuel is produced in a sustainable manner.”
The first delivery of Neste’s jet biofuel to Air BP came through Amsterdam-based SkyNRG, whose Sustainability Board approved the RSB-certified fuel. The feedstock was grown by Camelina Company España, an ITAKA partner.
“The fact that we’re able to supply sustainable jet fuel through the existing fuel infrastructure demonstrates the industry is now ready to take the next step in the development of this market,” said SkyNRG CEO Maarten van Dijk. “We see the Nordic countries, and especially with Avinor’s airport incentive, have the basis and momentum to quickly move forward.”
SkyNRG last week welcomed ABN-AMRO bank into the KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme with which it is associated.
The ITAKA project, which is funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme and includes SkyNRG and Neste as partners, is aimed at demonstrating the entire value chain in Europe, from sustainable feedstock production to the use of jet biofuel using normal supply mechanisms.
“We are very proud to take part in this pioneering initiative, bringing together several airlines and stakeholders that are united with a common objective: to support the implementation of sustainable fuels for the aviation industry, bringing the economic viability of biojet fuel a step closer to reality,” said Dr Inmaculada Gómez of SENASA and ITAKA Project Coordinator.
More photos from the launch of the Avinor/Air BP/ITAKA/Neste/SkyNRG initiative here
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