Oslo Airport first to offer biofuel to airlines
Oslo Airport has started supplying Air BP Biojet via its regular fuel hydrant system, naming KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa Group and SAS Scandinavian Airlinesas launch customers.
“This is the first time aviation biofuel is being delivered through the normal supply mechanism, thus reducing logistics costs significantly. We want to demonstrate that airports can readily access biofuel with relative ease, utilizing existing physical infrastructure,” Air BP CEO David Gilmour said.
The biofuel, which is produced from camelina oil, is available for airlines to buy at Oslo and is supplied from the main fuel farm, via common storage and distribution facilities, without the need for segregated infrastructure. Previously, it had to be provided by fuel truck.
Air BP, Norwegian airport operator Avinor, the Initiative Towards SustAinable Kerosene for Aviation (ITAKA) consortium and biofuel supplier SkyNRG are behind the project. “As first movers we hope to inspire other airports and airlines to follow suit,” Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen said.
ITAKA is an EU-funded consortium, made up of aerospace and fuel companies including Airbus and Embraer, which aims to produce and distribute sustainable aviation biofuel in Europe. ITAKA said this is the first project to demonstrate the entire biofuel value chain.
“This is a relevant breakthrough in the emerging market of biofuels for aviation and it is expected to foster an extensive adoption of non-segregated biofuel supplies worldwide,” ITAKA said.
The biofuel is produced from camelina, grown in Spain by Camelina Company España (CCE), via NEXBTL technology at Neste’s Porvoo refinery in Finland and then delivered to the airport by SkyNRG. Under the initiative, Air BP will provide a minimum of 1.25 million liters of drop-in jet biofuel.
“We see that the Nordics, and especially Norway with the airport incentive installed by Avinor, have the basis and momentum to quickly move forward,” SkyNRG CEO Maarten van Dijk said.
Three carriers—KLM, Lufthansa Group and SAS—have said they will uplift biofuel at Oslo.
KLM will also start a series of Embraer 190-operated biofuel flights between Oslo and Amsterdam this spring, building on a trial between Amsterdam and Bonaire which it performed in 2014. “In cooperation with Embraer, biofuel efficiency will be assessed in comparison with kerosene. KLM previously conducted similar tests in cooperation with Boeing and Airbus,” the Dutch carrier said.
This will be partly supported by KLM’s Corporate BioFuel program, where participating companies pay a surcharge to offset the higher price of biofuel, compared with traditional kerosene. “This investment is fully utilized by KLM to purchase sustainable biofuel, which is added to the fuel pumped into KLM aircraft at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and elsewhere, like Oslo,” KLM said.
Boosting biofuel demand, production and supply is critical to it becoming more widespread, cheaper and commercially viable. IATA is aiming to achieve carbon neutral growth by 2020 and halve carbon emissions by 2050, while the EU is aiming for 3.5% biofuel use in aviation by 2020.