KLM makes major investment into sustainable aviation fuel

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will buy 75,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel a year for the next 10 years, the company has announced.

They will buy the fuel from SkyNRG who will develop Europe’s first dedicated plant for the production of sustainable airline fuel (SAF) in Delfzijl in The Netherlands.

They say it will be capable of producing the sustainable airline fuels bioLPG and naphtha primarily using regional waste and residue streams as feedstock.

The feedstocks used for production will be waste and residue streams, such as used cooking oil, coming predominantly from regional industries. The facility will run on sustainable hydrogen, which is produced using water and wind energy.

From 2022, the plant will annually produce 100,000 tonnes of SAF, as well as 15,000 tonnes of bioLPG, as a by-product which could mean a CO2 reduction of 270,000 tonnes a year for the aviation industry.

It’s claimed the facility, which will open in 2022 will be the first of its kind in the world.

Pieter Elbers, KLM President & CEO said: I am proud of our collaboration with SkyNRG and SHV Energy to launch a project that will see the development of the first European production facility for sustainable aviation fuel.

‘The advent of aviation has had a major impact on the world, offering a new means of bringing people closer together. This privilege goes hand in hand with huge responsibility towards our planet.

‘KLM takes this very seriously and has therefore invested in sustainability for many years. By joining hands with other parties, we can build a plant that will accelerate the development of sustainable aviation fuel.’

The recent Committee for Climate Change report piled pressure on the aviation sector to cut emissions, with Bill Hemmings of Brussels-based campaign group Transport and Environment telling AirQualityNews that the aviation industry must do more to upset the status quo.

Currently, airlines receive a tax exemption for aviation fuel for domestic, intra and extra-EU flights and a leaked European Commission report revealed last month that taxing aviation kerosene in the EU would slash aviation emissions by 11% (16.4 million tonnes of CO2), have no net impact on the economy and would generate €27bn in revenues every year.

Campaigners argue that this tax would incentivise airlines to move towards more sustainable fuels and create a better environment for change.

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