Singapore Airlines partners with Neste to become first customer of world’s largest SAF factory

Singapore Airlines partners with Neste to become first customer of world’s largest SAF factory
Singapore Airlines partners with Neste to become first customer of world’s largest SAF factory

Asian carriers are also going green. Singapore Airlines announced on Monday that it had signed an agreement with Neste to purchase and integrate 1,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) into its jet fuel. The Singaporean company and its low-cost subsidiary Scoot will thus become the first to use sustainable fuel from the Neste factory located at Singapore-Changi airport, which has just been expanded to become the first production unit in the world.

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For Singapore Airlines, “This agreement with Neste is an important step in SIA Group’s journey to have a minimum of 5% sustainable aviation fuel in our total fuel increase by 2030. Close collaboration with our partners and stakeholders, both in Singapore and around the world, plays a vital role. in our long-term decarbonization objectives »declared its director of sustainable development, Lee Wen Fen.

Announced objectives which also respond to a political agenda. The Singapore government said in February that it would gradually require companies serving the city-state to use low-carbon fuels from 2026. Companies will have to use fuel blended with 1% SAF by that date, a content which will have to gradually increase to 3 to 5% by 2030. To compensate for the price of these new fuels, the Singaporean authorities must introduce a surcharge on tickets to cushion the cost differential.

The largest SAF factory in the world

In this new order, Neste sees good hope for the decarbonization of the sector. Quoted in the press release, Alexander Kueper, vice president for sustainable aviation at Neste, said he hoped this agreement would encourage “ greater use adoption of SAFs across the Asia-Pacific region “.

Number one in the sector, Neste expanded its refinery at Singapore-Changi airport last year for 1.6 billion euros, making it, according to its claims, the largest SAF production unit in the world. . In fact, the extension of its Singapore refinery doubles its production capacity and brings its total production capacity to 2.6 million tonnes of fuel including 1 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) per year.

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Air-France KLM also invests in SAF

Please note, Singapore Airlines is not the only company to invest in sustainable fuels. This is also the case for Air-France KLM. In November 2023, the Franco-Dutch company announced to invest $4.7 million in the future DG Fuels plant, located in Louisiana (southern United States), its first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plant. “ This investment confirms the Group’s ambition to participate in the financing of project studies enabling the development of SAF production capacities, in order to gradually establish a diversified supply network, capable of meeting needs at a global level. », affirmed Air France-KLM in a press release.

In October 2022, it had already announced a supply contract with DG Fuels covering 600,000 tonnes of SAF, with deliveries planned between 2027 and 2036. The European group also concluded an agreement with the Finnish Nestethe world’s leading producer of SAF, for the supply of one million tonnes of sustainable fuel between 2023 and 2030, and another 10-year protocol to acquire 800,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel with TotalEnergies.

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Essential pillar of decarbonization

Sustainable aviation fuel is made from waste and residues of renewable raw materials, making it possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% compared to conventional kerosene over their entire use cycle. SAF can be used directly in current aircraft, certified to accept 50% mixtures in fossil kerosene, and 100% by 2030. But this low-carbon fuel remains 3 to 5 times more expensive.

Aviation is responsible for 2 to 3% of total CO2 emissions but remains one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonize. The objective of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. The use of sustainable fuels is therefore seen as an essential solution, but undoubtedly insufficient to cover the needs of all planes.

(With AFP)

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