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Sustainable Aviation Fuel introduced for the first time at Gatwick Airport through a collaboration between Neste, Q8Aviation, easyJet and Gatwick Airport Ltd

Petrochemical industry | 19 Oct 2021 IST | Polymerupdate.com
With the first one departing, a total of 42 easyJet flights operating from Gatwick Airport are to be powered by a 30 percent Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ blend. This important milestone marks the first time a departing flight at Gatwick has used sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and is also the first usage by any easyJet service. It confirms the strong commitment of all parties involved – international aviation fuel supplier Q8Aviation, easyJet, Gatwick Airport Ltd and Neste – to achieve a net carbon emission reduction in the fuel used in aviation and work towards an ultimate goal for aviation to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Of the 42 flights running on Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel blend, 39 of these will be the easyJet flights operating from Gatwick to Glasgow throughout the COP26 Climate Change Conference, which runs from 31st October to 12th November. Across all 42 flights, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by up to 70 tonnes which further signals the industry’s intentions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a course to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Q8Aviation has delivered the first supply of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel to the fuel supply at Gatwick Airport. Neste’s market-leading sustainable aviation fuel, which is fully certified, is produced from 100% renewable and sustainable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste. In its neat form and over its life cycle, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel can achieve a reduction of up to 80%* of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil jet fuel use.

Neste-produced SAF is blended with Jet A-1 fuel at a depot upstream of Gatwick Airport to create a drop-in fuel that is compatible with existing aircraft engines and the airport infrastructure, without requiring extra investment. Q8Aviation delivered the fuel to the main storage tanks at Gatwick Airport for supply to easyJet aircraft via the airport’s hydrant system.

The incorporation of SAF into Gatwick’s operations for today’s flight is an important proof of concept for the airport in demonstrating its continued commitment to work with its aviation partners on decarbonisation. Gatwick’s own 2019 carbon footprint showed that the airport is already half-way to net zero for its own operations and is committed to achieving Net Zero direct emissions by 2040.

Jonathan Wood, Vice President Europe, Renewable Aviation at Neste said: “The aviation industry has already taken important steps to reduce its environmental impact. A key element in achieving this is the wider introduction of sustainable aviation fuel. Neste is investing as we speak to increase SAF production capacity from 100,000 metric tonnes to 1.5 million metric tonnes annually in 2023. Neste welcomes government proposals to encourage the use of SAF to reduce aviation greenhouse gas emissions. It is important that more and more airlines, airports and fuel suppliers lead the way to a more sustainable future for aviation. We are happy to welcome easyJet, Q8Aviation and Gatwick Airport among these frontrunners."

Naser Ben Butain, General Manager Q8Aviation said: “We are delighted to play our part in supplying the first sustainable aviation fuel to easyJet at Gatwick. We have forged a strong partnership with easyJet over many years, and benefit from excellent support from Gatwick Airport Ltd and Neste, and look forward to working closely with all the partners to further our sustainability objectives.”

Jane Ashton, Director of Sustainability at easyJet said: “At easyJet, we want to play our part to lead the decarbonisation of aviation. We’re pleased to announce that today we’re operating using SAF in a proof of concept flight from Gatwick having also committed to using a SAF blend on all flights operating from Gatwick to Glasgow throughout COP26, thanks to a collaborative effort with our partners involved in this project. The availability of SAF still needs to grow but they will be an important interim solution in our decarbonisation pathway, while we are supporting the development of zero-emission aircraft, which will be the most sustainable solution for short-haul networks such as our own in the long term. In the meantime, we are operating our flights as efficiently as possible and are currently the only major European airline to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all our flights, which has an impact right now.”

Tim Norwood, Director of Corporate Affairs, Planning and Sustainability of Gatwick Airport said: “We are very pleased to work with easyJet, Q8Aviation and Neste to demonstrate SAF use at Gatwick Airport. SAF is one of several ways that UK aviation and Gatwick will reach net zero carbon by 2050, alongside carbon offsets, airspace modernisation and continued innovation in aerospace technology, including electric, hydrogen and hybrid aircraft systems. With smart Government policy to underpin investment in cost competitive UK SAF production, many more flights could be using UK produced SAF by the mid-2020s. Achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050 is both a great challenge and an opportunity for our industry. Sustainable Aviation’s decarbonisation roadmap and interim goals set out clear milestones and we’re ready to play our part at Gatwick, through implementing the roadmap’s first decade milestones and by keeping the roadmap updated to incorporate additional technology solutions for the 2030s.”

*) Calculated with established life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies, among which EU RED and CORSIA.

Neste in brief

Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. We refine waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. We are the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. We aim at helping customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with our renewable and circular solutions by at least 20 million tons annually by 2030. As a technologically advanced refiner of high-quality oil products with a commitment to reach carbon-neutral production by 2035, we are also introducing renewable and recycled raw materials such as waste plastic as refinery raw materials. We have consistently been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies. In 2020, Neste's revenue stood at EUR 11.8 billion, with 94% of the company’s comparable operating profit coming from renewable products. Read more: neste.com

About Q8Aviation

Q8Aviation is one of the world’s leading aviation fuel suppliers. We are the specialised aviation subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, the state oil company of Kuwait. We provide an on-airport fuelling service at many key international and regional airports to customers ranging from major international airlines to charter, cargo and military operators. Our supply chain is strengthened through our investment in import facilities at major European ports including Bristol in the UK, Le Havre, Rotterdam and Koper in Slovenia. We are the largest importer of fuel into north-west Europe. Q8Aviation also offers specialist technical and marketing consultancy services to clients across the globe.

About easyJet

easyJet is Europe’s leading airline offering a unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe's primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service.easyJet flies on more of Europe’s most popular routes than any other airline and carried more than 96 million passengers in 2019 – more than 16 million travelling for business. The airline has over 300 aircraft on nearly 1000 routes to more than 150 airports across 35 countries. Over 300 million Europeans live within one hour's drive of an easyJet airport. easyJet aims to be a good corporate citizen, employing people on local contracts in eight countries across Europe in full compliance with national laws and recognising their trade unions. The airline supports a number of local charities and also has a corporate partnership with UNICEF which has raised over £14m for the most vulnerable children since it was established in 2012. The airline takes sustainability seriously and it was the first major airline to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of its flights. The airline is aware that carbon offsetting is not a long term solution, but it believes it currently represents the best way to compensate for the impact of the carbon emitted from flying, until new technology becomes available to decarbonise aviation over the medium to long term. In the meantime, easyJet will continue to support innovative technology, operate efficiently and aim to fill most of its seats. Since 2000, we have improved our carbon emission per passenger kilometre efficiency by over one third and we have a target to reach a 38% reduction by 2022. Innovation is in easyJet’s DNA – from our launch over 25 years ago when we changed the way people fly to the present day where we lead the industry in digital, web, engineering and operational innovations to make travel more easy and affordable for our passengers. The airline was named as Britain’s Most Admired Company of 2020 in the transport sector, retaining the leading position for a second year running. Britain's Most Admired Companies study is the longest-running annual survey of corporate reputation in the UK.

About Gatwick Airport

Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport and flies a range of both short and long-haul point-to-point services. The airport is a vital piece of the UK’s national infrastructure and is also a major driver for both the regional and national economies. In 2019, a new long-term partnership was formed with VINCI Airports who purchased a 50.01% stake in the airport. VINCI Airports, the leading private airport operator in the world, manages 45 airports in 12 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The company harnesses its expertise as a comprehensive integrator to develop, finance, build and operate airports, while leveraging its investment capability and expertise in optimising operational performance, modernising infrastructure and driving environmental transition. VINCI Airports became the first airport operator to start rolling out an international environmental strategy, in 2016, with a view to achieving net zero emissions throughout its network by 2050. Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which manages the remaining 49.99% interest in Gatwick, is an independent infrastructure investor that makes equity investments in high quality infrastructure assets in the energy, transport and water/waste sectors. GIP has US$70 billion of Assets under Management. Its 41 portfolio companies operate in over 50 countries.
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