SAS and Norwegian flights mark ambitious plans for ramping up biofuel production in Nordic countries
Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment, Tine Sundtoft, and Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos onboard yesterday's Norwegian biofuel flight
Wed 12 Nov 2014 – In a further move to establish a market in the Nordic region for sustainable aviation biofuels, airlines SAS and Norwegian yesterday operated commercial flights using biojet fuel supplied by the partnership formed between SkyNRG and aviation fuel supplier Statoil. The internal flights from Trondheim to Oslo by SAS and from Bergen to Oslo by Norwegian were conducted in cooperation with Norway’s airport operator Avinor to coincide with the Zero Emission Conference in Oslo. The biojet fuel, forming 48% of the blend, was sourced from used cooking oil but the aim is to develop sustainable fuels from local forestry residues and wastes. The ambition of the SkyNRG Nordic partnership is to make the region the first in the world in which all flights are powered by a biofuel component.
To help offset the higher costs of these fuels and move towards substantial volumes, SkyNRG has established a Fly Green Fund for corporations in the Nordic region looking to fly more sustainably.
The fund is based on a similar scheme SkyNRG co-developed and launched in 2012 called the KLM Corporate Biofuel Programme in which companies such as Accenture, Nike, Philips and Heineken pay a cost towards the purchase of sustainable biofuels instead of offsetting their staff travel carbon emissions (see story).
“With help from our partners and corporate clients, we believe that we can get to substantial volumes in the next two years,” said SkyNRG CEO Dirk Kronemeijer.
Added Maria Fiskerud, Nordic Director for SkyNRG: “The Nordic countries are well suited to drive this development but it requires the involvement of everyone in the entire value chain, from raw materials suppliers and manufacturers to the passenger. With our co-funding model, we will involve the end customer in a meaningful and critical way.”
The Amsterdam-based SkyNRG plans to set up ‘BioPorts’ around the world to supply local airports and airlines with sustainable biofuels. In June it said SkyNRG Nordic would build the first BioPort in the region at Karlstad Airport in Sweden (see story). The announcement was marked by two biofuel flights by bmi regional and Nextjet. More BioPorts are planned before the end of the year, said a SkyNRG spokesperson.
“That major airlines in the region are starting to fly on biojet fuel sends an important signal to the international community,” said Karlstad Airport CEO Peter Landmark. “After organising the first biojet fuel flights in Sweden with SkyNRG Nordic, we will step up efforts by providing this fuel on a continued basis in 2015.”
In March, Norway’s state-owned airport operator Avinor announced it would contribute up to 100 million Norwegian kroner ($16.5m) over a 10-year period to support the development of a national aviation biofuel sector (see story).
“Over the last few years, Avinor has led the Norwegian aviation industry’s investigation of opportunities to produce aviation biofuel from Norwegian timber, and we have deployed considerable resources in this work,” said Dag Falk-Petersen, CEO of Avinor.