From ABRAHAM JONAH,
Managing Editor, Middle East
Aviation fuel the world over has become a challenge for many airlines in recent years, posing lots of challenges, including hike in flight ticket rates among others. While industry players and governments seek to alleviate the impact by looking for a way out of it, some airlines may not see it as a major challenges, as they have partners who can manage the supply to keep them going.
In similar light, Renewable fuels company Aemetis, Inc. has recently announced a multi-year agreement with International Airlines Group (IAG) to supply sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to help power both British Airways and Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus’ flights from San Francisco Airport from 2025.
IAG, which is a parent company of both British Airways and Aer Lingus, will purchase a total of 78,400 tonnes of SAF over seven years, enough to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 248,000 tonnes (the equivalent of taking over 16,000 cars off the road) across the same time period.
Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis, said: “Sustainable aviation fuel continues to be shown to be a great solution to decarbonise aviation and can be used in existing aircraft engines. IAG is continuing to take a leadership position by the conversion of their fuel supply to the use of sustainable fuels. Our production of SAF in California is supported by the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, creating new investment and jobs in disadvantaged minority communities in the state.”
It is nice to know that The SAF will be produced at the Aemetis Carbon Zero plant currently under development in Riverbank, California. This plant will be powered by 100% renewable electricity and is designed to sequester CO2 from the production process, significantly reducing the carbon intensity of the fuel.
It boosts confidence to hear Jonathon Counsell, Head of Sustainability at IAG. He said: “SAF is key to decarbonizing aviation and IAG has to date committed $865 million in SAF purchases and investments. We see great potential to develop a long-term partnership with Aemetis who is at the cutting edge of producing low carbon biofuels from sustainable wastes.”
International Airlines Group was the first airline group in the world to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the first European airline group to commit to using SAF for 10% of its fuel by 2030.
British Airways is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions through a series of short, medium- and long-term initiatives as part of its BA Better World sustainability program. In the short-term this includes improving operational efficiency, flying more fuel efficient aircraft, funding carbon offset and removal projects to mitigate emissions on UK domestic flights, and progressively introducing sustainable aviation fuels manufactured using carbon capture technology and waste feedstocks. In the medium to longer term the airline is continuing to invest in the development and scale up of sustainable aviation fuel and accelerating the growth of new technologies such as zero emissions hydrogen-powered aircraft and carbon capture technology.
Aer Lingus is committed to a lower-carbon future. A key focus of delivering Aer Lingus’ sustainability programme, in addition to SAF, is investment in new generation and more fuel-efficient aircraft such as the Airbus A320neo and A32l neo LR. Other significant efforts include establishing a robust carbon offsetting programme, driving operational fuel efficiencies, waste reduction and electrifying our ground operations fleet.