Neste signs biojet agreement with Alaska Airlines as plans are dropped for Geneva Airport project
Fri 14 Sept 2018 – Finnish renewable jet fuel producer Neste has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Alaska Airlines to expand the use of sustainable aviation fuels by the carrier. The two partners say they will work closely together to design, create and implement solutions to lay the groundwork for a wider adoption of renewable fuels within the airline industry. Announcing the MoU, Alaska Airlines and Neste said they shared the view that closer collaboration within the industry and key partners would “help create the ‘lift’ necessary to help move aviation in the right direction.” This follows news that a pilot project to replace 1 per cent of the conventional fuel used at Geneva Airport by Neste’s fuel has been cancelled.
Commenting on the Alaska Airlines partnership, Kaisa Hietala, Neste’s EVP Renewable Products, said: “By working together, we will find the best solutions to secure the success in reaching Alaska’s goal to fly greener.”
Responded Kirk Myers, Alaska Airlines’ Director of Sustainability: “At Alaska, we strive to fly true – true to our values and true to the beautiful places and communities we fly to. This collaboration is another major step towards supporting the health of our communities and ecosystems.”
Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel technology has been used to supply biojet for thousands of commercial flights, says the company, which include 1,187 Lufthansa daily scheduled flights that took place in 2011. Neste is planning an additional 1 million ton renewable product capacity at its Singapore facility that will significantly increase production of renewable jet fuel by 2022, promises the company.
The Geneva pilot project was cancelled after an application to the Swiss authorities for project facilitation funding was unsuccessful, following the completion of a lengthy consultation period.
The partnership with Geneva Airport was to result in “thousands of tonnes” of Neste’s fuel being supplied to airlines using the airport, which was to be produced at Neste’s European refineries using 100% waste and residue based renewable raw materials. Alongside local fuel companies, the project was to look at the most viable form of transporting the fuel to the airport.
“The authorities’ decision not to support the renewable jet fuel project is a disappointment, but does not affect our plan to bring our product to the global market,” commented Hietala. “We have announced collaborative agreements with other airports and airlines already, and I believe several other announcements will follow in the near future.
“I want to thank Geneva Airport and other stakeholders for insightful cooperation. Over the past months we have gained tremendous knowledge around developing renewable jet fuel supply chains which complement existing airport infrastructure and operations. We are looking forward to leveraging this knowledge in the future collaborations.”
The company has set up the Neste Green Hub to support the aviation industry’s CO2 reduction efforts and connect key stakeholders and create a platform for collaboration among airports, solution providers, airlines, authorities and local communities.