IATA reports major progress in sustainable aviation fuels, globally

18th March 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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In its latest 'Fly Net Zero Media Update' report, the global representative body for the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has highlighted developments around the world, regarding sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), during the first two months of this year.

Global major airline Emirates has joined the UK low carbon investment initiative, known as the Solent Cluster, located on England’s south coast. This could include the construction of a SAF plant with a production capacity of 200 000 t/y. In Spain, construction of Southern Europe’s second-largest biofuels plant has started. This is a joint venture between Spanish multinational oil group Cepsa and Singaporean multinational vegetable oil processor, the Apical Group, and will have a production capacity of 500 000 t/y of SAF and renewable diesel.

Talking of Singapore, that country’s Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint was launched by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, in consultation with industry and other stakeholders. This was the country’s aviation sector decarbonisation action plan.

Elsewhere in Asia, Cathay Pacific announced three new partners for its Corporate SAF Programme; the airline was also seeking to make Hong Kong a regional SAF hub, by being a cofounder of the Hong Kong SAF Coalition. Meanwhile, Korean Air Lines has entered a partnership with Yusen Logistics, a Japan-based global group, for cooperation regarding the use of SAF for cargo. And Japan Airlines has partnered with Yokohama City to create and run a system to collect waste cooking oil from homes, to use as a SAF feedstock.

In North America, United Airlines announced that its Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund, to drive SAF production and reduce aviation emissions, now had a value of more than $200-million, following its expansion to 22 corporate partners. This expansion was the consequence of the fund being joined by Aircastle, Air New Zealand, Embraer, Google, HIS, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking, Safran Corporate Ventures, and Technip Energies.

Another American carrier, Southwest Airlines invested $30-million into US sustainable fuels technology company LanzaJet, which commissioned the world’s first ethanol to SAF production facility, which has yearly capacity of 10-million gallons (37.85-million litres) of SAF and renewable diesel. LanzaJet will also work with another company in which the airline has invested – SAFFiRE Renewables – to help develop its operations. Other SAF projects launched in the US in this period includes a partnership between Blue Biofuels and Vertimass, and Sugar Valley Energy.

In Canada, the federal government announced Can$15-million investments in clean fuel, including SAF, projects. And Azure Sustainable Fuels achieved milestones in its renewable fuels facility development project. This facility will have a production capacity of about 20 000 bbl/d, mainly composed of SAF. Production is slated to start in 2027. 


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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