Geneva Aéroport: We’re going with aviation biofuels, so there.

September 18, 2017 |

In Switzerland, Geneva Airport has partnered with Neste to introduce sustainable and renewable jet fuel for aircraft operations, with a target of at least one percent of the annual jet fuel consumption starting late 2018.

This collaboration marks Geneva’s transition into the implementation phase of the Carbon War Room/SkyNRG-initiated project. CWR and SkyNRG first brought their Airport Approach to Geneva Airport in 2015 with a mission to help airports play a more active role in accelerating the uptake of SAF.

The aviation backstory

The International Civil Aviation Organization has set a target that from 2020 onwards the growth in aviation is carbon-neutral. Currently, the only viable alternative to fossil liquid fuels for powering commercial aircraft is sustainable renewable jet fuel, which is one the most efficient means of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. It can be adopted immediately without the need for additional investments in new fuel distribution infrastructure.

For Neste, the development of Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel has been a long journey taking several years:  from building proof of concept to ensuring the quality and performance that fully meet the aviation industry’s expectations. Neste’s renewable jet fuel technology and quality is proven in thousands of commercial flights by e.g. Lufthansa and is now ready for commercialization.

We reported last mopnth that Bergen became the second Norwegian airport to offer aviation biofuels. The fuel provider, AirBP, made its first biofuel delivery the night before the opening. Biofuel can be mixed directly with conventional fuel and no adjustments to the aircraft engines or distribution system are required. This follows Air BP’s successful introduction of biojet at Oslo Airport in January 2016.

Bergen becomes second Norwegian airport to offer aviation biofuels

And we reported in July that Air BP extended its biofuel footprint in the Nordics with the supply of commercial jet biofuel (biojet) now available at Halmstad Airport, Sweden.

The company has collaborated with Halmstad Airport (HAD/ESMT) and Swedish domestic airline, BRA (formerly Braathens Regional) to make this possible. The first batch was delivered to Halmstad Airport on June 29th and was successfully uplifted by BRA when it refueled its ATR 72-600 aircraft. It is available to all airlines that refuel at the airport, initially for a period of one year. Air BP has since continued to work towards growing its biojet footprint in the region and has supplied airlines and airports on an ad-hoc basis at Stockholm Arlanda (ARN/ESSA), Stockholm Bromma (BMA/ESSB) and Göteborg Landvetter (GOT/ESGG).

Air BP extends aviation biofuel supplies to Halmstad airport

The Neste backstory

Neste is the world’s leading renewable diesel producer from waste and residues, and with its renewable diesel it has helped to decarbonize traffic by 33 million tons over the past 10 years. This is equivalent to 2 years’ emissions from the Swiss transport sector. Now this expertise and renewable solution is available for aviation.

The Airport Approach backstory

The Carbow War Room and SkyNRG Airport Approach model, which was first developed by the partners in 2015, engages airports as key stakeholders in the future of SAF. The model introduces an airport-wide SAF blend utilizing existing fueling infrastructure, making SAF standard for all flights refueling at the airport. CWR and SkyNRG also collaborate with partner airports to identify and secure appropriate mechanisms to cover the cost premium of SAF based on the financial profile of the airport. This can include non-aeronautical airport revenues, operational cost savings from energy efficiency projects, government subsidies, policies, grants and sponsorship by local businesses.

We reported in October 2016 that CWR and SkyNRG joined with the Port of Seattle to announce recommendations for long-term funding mechanisms that could supply all airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with SAF. This is the next step in a process that began late last year by the Port of Seattle with a $250,000 Biofuel Infrastructure Feasibility Study, in partnership with Alaska Airlines and Boeing, that will assess costs and infrastructure necessary to deliver sustainable aviation fuel to aircraft at Sea-Tac. That study is expected to be released in early 2017.

Reaction from the stakeholders

“Geneva Airport is exemplary in sustainability with its ambitious goals to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. We are very excited to collaborate with Genève Aéroport and their airline partners to show the way to the aviation sector. We both share the common view that decreasing CO2 emissions in aviation is crucial in combating climate change.

This is an important step for Neste in implementing our growth strategy for renewables in applications outside road traffic fuels. Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel is Neste’s sustainable solution for reducing CO2 emissions in aviation,” says Kaisa Hietala, Executive Vice President in the Renewable Product business area in Neste.

André Schneider, CEO of Geneva Airport, commented: “As aviation is growing, airports have a crucial role in taking initiatives which aim at reducing environmental impact. Genève Aéroport is particularly pleased to work in this very ambitious project together with Neste, the Swiss authorities, airlines operating from Geneva, and locally established fuel companies in our pursuit of fossil neutral growth.  We would not have reached this milestone without the vision of Carbon War Room and SkyNRG, who have supported us with project initiation, development and pursuit of funding during the preparatory phase of this project. We credit them for their pioneering contributions and practical guidance during that phase.”

“We congratulate Geneva Airport on demonstrating great leadership with respect to decarbonising aviation and for being the first to actualise our Airport Approach model, said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute-Carbon War Room. “These efforts are critical as the industry continues to grow in a world where we must limit temperature rise to well below 2 degrees. We wish Geneva Airport and Neste the best of luck in their collaboration and look forward to their success.”

“We’re proud that together with Carbon War Room we’ve built a unique model, The Airport Approach, that will now help Geneva Airport to reach their ambitious 1% target. We congratulate Geneva Airport reaching the next phase of this exciting project. Now it is up to the locally established fuel companies to integrate renewable jet fuel into their supply chains in the most sustainable and cost-effective way.” says Theye Veen, CFO SkyNRG.

More background slides

DOE, DOD aim for take-off: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Biofuels in Defense and Aviation

DOE, DOD aim for take-off: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Biofuels in Defense and Aviation

Ready for take-off: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Honeywell’s UOP and aviation biofuels

Ready for take-off: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Honeywell’s UOP and aviation biofuels

Sustainable aviation fuels: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to United Airlines

Sustainable aviation fuels: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to United Airlines

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