SAS pledges to use renewable jet fuels on all domestic flights by 2030 and partners with Swedish oil refiner Preem
Fri 13 July 2018 – Scandinavian airline SAS has signed a letter of intent with Sweden’s largest fuel company Preem to produce renewable aviation fuels using forestry residues and other waste materials. SAS has set a target to replace all its jet fuel used on domestic flights with biofuel by 2030. With refineries in Gothenburg and Lysekil, Preem refines and sells petroleum products to companies and consumers in Sweden and abroad, and is one of the country’s biggest exporters. SAS says it has adopted a strategy to reduce its emissions and climate impact on a long-term basis and if the collaboration with Preem progresses then the two partners expect to agree a long-term jet biofuel supply contract. SAS has also announced that backdated to April 1, it will compensate CO2 emissions generated by customers flying on its Youth Tickets.
The combined capacity of Preem’s two refineries is 18 million tonnes of refined products, equivalent to around 125 million barrels per year. The Gothenburg refinery also refines renewable raw materials into diesel with a high proportion of renewable content, and the company reports it is planning a capacity expansion, with a goal to produce three million cubic metres of biofuels by 2030. A preliminary start-up of production is expected in 2022, with a total biofuel capacity of one million cubic metres, with a proportion of that dedicated to jet biofuel.
“Preem’s vision is to be a leader in the transition to a sustainable society and we are actively working to develop production of Swedish biofuels,” said Sören Eriksson, Development Engineer at Preem Petroleum. “We are looking forward to developing our cooperation with SAS and expanding our production to include large-scale biojet.”
The two parties expect to reach a binding and more detailed cooperation agreement by this coming September.
“SAS’s sustainability and restructuring work is about investing in more environmentally efficient aircraft, flying in an environmentally friendly manner and using fuel based on renewable sources,” said Lars Andersen Resare, the airline’s Head of Environment and CSR. “This statement of intent is an important part of our work towards more sustainable flights in the long-term.”
SAS reports that it has already purchased around 100 tonnes of biofuel and says it will continue to actively promote commercialisation.
The airline is also transitioning its fleet to the new fuel-efficient Airbus A320neo. “They consume on average 18% less fuel per passenger compared to the previous A320 model,” said Resare. “Since 2005, the enterprise has reduced its CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre by 22%.”
Regarding the new CO2 compensation initiative on Youth Tickets, which are available to travellers aged between 12 and 26, Resare said: “Many of our passengers, especially young travellers, make active choices to promote sustainable development. The possibility to compensate for the CO2 emissions of your flight has been available to all our travellers for several years, but from April 1, SAS has decided to do so voluntarily for all SAS Youth Tickets.”
The emissions calculation is based on travel statistics and emissions data, says the airline, which estimates that as a result, around SEK 15 million ($1.7m) will be invested in renewable energy projects supported by its offset partner Natural Capital Partners.
“The use of innovative solutions and new technology is, and always has been, the top priority for us on our journey towards the next generation of travelling,” said Resare.