Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus and Canada-based sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) development consortium SAF+ have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with major actors in the Canadian aerospace industry. The MoU covers the development and production of SAF in North America.
The conclusion of the MoU signifies the start of the creation of a Canadian SAF ecosystem. It also links Airbus with leading Canadian participants across the entire aviation value chain. Airbus will be investing in the joint endeavour in kind, with advocacy and communications, economic analysis, and technical and certification expertise.
“Airbus, along with many of its customers, is more than convinced the use of SAF is an essential pillar to support the aviation industry’s decarbonisation journey,” affirmed Airbus New Energy Programme manager Steven Le Moing. “Building this new Canadian ecosystem alongside the SAF+ Consortium is a key milestone as we continue to push to reach our global 2050 [carbon dioxide] emissions-reduction targets. This partnership is a perfect example of how Airbus is actively shaping decarbonisation discussions in North America, while demonstrating our commitment to making SAF an economically viable solution available to our customers.”
“SAF+ aims to be a pioneer in the field of SAF, and with the support of visionary partners such as Airbus, we will create a competitive company, able to offer one of the many technological solutions needed to decarbonise the aviation industry,” highlighted SAF+ Consortium president and CEO Jean Paquin. The consortium is composed of companies and institutions based in the Canadian province of Quebec. These include Aéro Montréal, Aéroports de Montréal, Air Transat, Hydro-Quebec and the Polytechnique Montréal.
The aim of the SAF+ Consortium is to make Montreal a North American hub for sustainable aviation. It will do so by building and operating a pilot SAF plant close to the city. Air Transat has committed itself to buying a “significant portion” (in Airbus’ words) of the plant’s future SAF production to power its fleet, which is composed almost entirely of Airbus types.
“[The] pilot plant will produce a type of SAF known as Power-to-Liquid ([abbreviated to] PtL), which is an e-fuel consisting of captured carbon dioxide (CO2) synthesised with renewable (green) hydrogen,” explained Airbus. “The process involves capturing CO2 from large industrial emitters and converting it into an alternative fuel. It is estimated that the fuel produced by SAF+ will have an 80% lower carbon footprint compared to conventional jet fuel.”