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Boeing and SkyNRG partner to make SAF more accessible

written by Isabella Richards | July 15, 2021
A supplied image of the Boeing 777-200, Eco Demonstrator. (Boeing)
A supplied image of the Boeing 777-200, Eco Demonstrator. (Boeing)

Boeing and SkyNRG pledge to make sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) more accessible to airlines in a partnership announced on Thursday– starting with North America.

Netherlands-based SkyNRG, along with US planemaker Boeing, will accelerate production capacities of alternative fuels to operate aircraft using 100 per cent SAF by 2026.

The companies will work together to increase accessibility, and get government agencies and environmental organisations involved.

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SkyNRG, a partner of Dutch Airline KLM, sources and supplies SAF, develops production, advises on policy decisions and manages SAF programs.

The partnership will begin its first facility in the west coast of North America, the first of six others all in Europe, supplying airlines and airports with SAF.

“Sustainable aviation fuels are safe, proven and offer the greatest potential to reduce our industry’s carbon emissions in the near, medium and long term,” said Boeing chief sustainability officer Chris Raymond.

“This partnership is an important milestone on our journey to decarbonise aerospace, while ensuring that its societal and economic benefits are available to people everywhere.”

The announcement will deepen Boeing’s sustainable commitments as it pledges its commercial airplanes will be capable and certified to fly on 100 per cent SAF by 2030.

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Boeing in 2018 conducted a flight test program dubbed ecoDemonstrator, successfully flying a commercial jet using 100 per cent SAF.

SkyNRG has been using SAF for test flights since 2008, being approved for commercial use in 2011.

SAF is a type of fuel derived from feedstocks such as cooking oil, solid waste from homes and businesses, waste food, and other materials. Using SAF can potentially reduce CO2 emissions by 80 per cent.

Alaska Airlines is another partner of SkyNRG, one of 30 airlines for which the company has sourced and supplied SAF, making it become a “new global standard”, according to the press release.

One barrier for sustainable fuels remains as it lacks strong distribution capabilities resulting in high prices and low demand.

“Our industry will need a strong, reliable supply of SAF to address climate change and drive adoption,” said Raymond. “We aspire to partner and help create that supply.”

Airlines for America (A4A), the US’s industry trade organisation in April pledged to reach a 2030 goal requiring an 84 per cent annual increase of SAF productions.

Companies involved in the campaign include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, UPS, and associate member Air Canada.

The A4A said it is “imperative that the US federal, state and local governments implement supportive policies and programs that enable innovation, scale-up, cost-competitiveness, and deployment in each of these areas.”

US President Joe Biden announced increased funds of US$1 billion into biofuels and renewable energies for next year’s budget, incrementally dispersed from 2022 to 2026.

The European Commission only yesterday announced their green deal proposals to the Parliament of Europe and associating regulators to reach 55 per cent less CO2 transport contributions by 2030.

The proposals include increased incentives for SAF use, reduced carbon allowances on commercial aircraft, and increased tax for common fuel.

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