Editor Welcome.qxp_JMesingerNov06 22/02/2022 14:45 Page 1
Global Aviation Sustainability Director, Air bp
Rising to the SAF Challenge s a drop-in fuel, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is one of the most promising solutions for decarbonizing the aviation sector in the shortterm and will play a key role in meeting the industry’s decarbonization goals. The SAF that Air bp supplies provides a lifecycle carbon reduction of around 80 percent compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces. Before being delivered to an airport, SAF is blended at up to 50 percent with traditional jet fuel. Certified as jet fuel, it can drop straight into existing infrastructure and aircraft. Though the highest blend is currently 50 percent, there are initiatives which are ground- and flight-testing 100 percent SAF blends to determine if it will be safe in the future to increase the limits. For example, Rolls-Royce and Airbus announced testing of 100 percent SAF blends in November 2020, and Rolls-Royce confirmed its first tests in a business jet engine in early 2021. Following Norway’s 0.5 percent SAF blending mandate, which was introduced in 2020, other countries have been following suit. In January this year, France introduced a one percent SAF mandate, while the UK and Germany plan their own mandates. Meanwhile, the EU’s Fit for 55 package of regulatory proposals includes an obligation for aviation fuel supplied to EU airports to contain two percent SAF from 2025, increasing to 50 percent by 2040. And, following the agreement of last year’s Glasgow Climate Pact during COP26 – which, according to United Nations Climate Change, aims to turn the 2020s into a decade of climate action and support – we can hope to see continued growth in industry collaborations in the coming years. Air bp will continue to work alongside customers, fuel producers and trade bodies to develop and increase SAF supply and demand. In 2021, we were delighted to collaborate with NetJets Europe when it became the first customer to purchase our ISCC PLUS certified SAF in Spain. In 2021, we also launched the pilot of a ‘book and claim’ system to provide wider market access to SAF, particularly for Business Aviation customers. This enables Air bp to deliver the SAF into the supply chain at one airport location, ‘booking’ the carbon reduction associated with it
into a registry. A customer at another location can then ‘claim’ those carbon reductions when purchasing their traditional jet fuel, along with the benefit of the lifecycle carbon reductions that have been registered.
Wider Choice of SAF Production Pathways
Although SAF is integral to aviation decarbonization, most of the current supply is from a pathway known as HEFA (hydrotreated Esters and Fatty Acids). With quantities of this feedstock limited, we’re focused on how we can expand them. In February 2022, bp announced a ten-year strategic partnership with Nuseed to accelerate the expansion of its Nuseed Carinata sustainable production program. Achieving the industry’s low-carbon goals will require a mix of different pathways to produce SAF, however. One of the most promising pathways to ensure we can meet future demand is power-to-liquid (PtL) technology for eSAF (a synthetic fuel derived from renewable energy). Legislation in Europe has already placed the development of eSAF at the forefront of aviation’s sustainability agenda.
The Business Aviation sector is undoubtedly in a period of transition as it looks towards sustainable growth and reimagining the way we fly. Business jets (due to their size) are likely to be the early adopters for innovations in electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft. However, these technologies remain some way off being commercially viable. By 2050 jet fuel is likely still to be the main source of energy for aviation, so SAF remains critical to meeting the industry’s 2050 goals. The challenge now lies in scaling up SAF supply and demand. Air bp continues to play an ongoing role in researching and developing the technologies required to bring the different SAF production technology options to commercial production, and has an integral role to play in securing approvals for multiple SAF pathways. A portfolio approach to the sourcing of SAF includes off-take agreements with third-party producers — investing in third-party production facilities, and in our own refineries and facilities. Meantime, we continue to work with customers to explore viable opportunities in the short-term. ❙
Andreea Moyes is the Global Aviation Sustainability Director, Air bp with a remit to access and create sustainable aviation fuel supply and solutions. She has 18 years of experience in the energy sector at bp, and six years in aviation at Air bp, for whom she was previously Global Account Director.
More information from www.airbp.com
4 Vol 26 Issue 3 2022 AVBUYER MAGAZINE