Avinor signs partnership for production of sustainable aviation fuel

posted on 25th June 2019 by Justin Burns

Norwegian airport operator Avinor has signed a partnership for production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The company has entered into an agreement with Quantafuel to buy SAF based on Norwegian biomass. The fuel will be producted in a pilot plant funded by ENOVA. In order to fund the development, Avinor has committed purchase fuel for NOK 8 million (US$941,000).

“Sustainable aviation fuel is essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation. The establishment of a pilot plant is an important step towards the production of sustainable aviation fuel in Norway,” said Avinor executive vice president, Margrethe Snekkerbakken.

Quantafuel AS has developed technology for the production of liquid fuel from biomass; BtL (biomass-to-liquid). The raw material used in production is solid wood in the shape of chips, sawdust and other wood qualities.

“With the newly concluded agreement, Quantafuel shall establish and produce biofuel based on residues from the Norwegian forestry industry. This focus on biomass would not have been possible without the support of ENOVA and an agreement with Avinor,” said Kjetil Bøhn, CEO of Quantafuel.

In addition to the continuous modernisation of the aircraft fleet, jet biofuel and electrification are of key importance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation.

In January 2016, Oslo Airport became the world’s first international hub that could supply SAF on a commercial basis for all aircraft that refuel there. The project proved SAF can use ordinary logistics and infrastructure for fuel deliveries to airports. In 2017 this scheme was also expanded to include Bergen Airport.

Currently, relatively little SAF is produced globally, and what little there is has a price that is not competitive. The Norwegian aviation industry has for several years considered different measures to access more SAF.

In 2017 Rambøll studied – on behalf of the Norwegian aviation industry – the status of SAF. The study showed that 30 per cent or 400 million litres of all jet fuel supplied at Avinor’s airports can be sustainable by 2030, based on deliveries from the forestry industry.