KLM to work on project for first European plant for sustainable aviation fuel

posted on 28th May 2019 by Justin Burns

Dutch carrier KLM is to work with SkyNRG and SHV Energy to launch a project that will see the development of the first European production facility for sustainable aviation fuel.

Sustainable aviation fuel is a necessary short-term option the commercial aviation industry has to reduce CO2 emissions in the short term in addition to fleet renewal and operational efficiency gains.

However, not enough sustainable kerosene is currently being produced. The new production plant is a SkyNRG project, called DSL-01, and will be dedicated to production of sustainable aviation fuel.

From 2022, the plant will annually produce 100,000 tonnes of SAF, as well as 15,000 tonnes of bioLPG, as a by-product. It will mean a CO2 reduction of 270,000 tonnes a year for the aviation industry.

KLM said this is an important step for the industry to accommodate the need for carbon emission reduction on the one hand, and the increasing demand for sustainable aviation fuel on the other.

The feedstocks used for production will be waste and residue streams, such as used cooking oil, coming predominantly from regional industries. The facility will run on sustainable hydrogen, which is produced using water and wind energy. Thanks to these choices, this sustainable aviation fuel delivers a CO2 reduction of at least 85 per cent, compared to fossil fuel.

The use of SAF will also contribute to a significant decrease in ultra-fine particles and sulphur emissions. The construction of this facility is very much in line with KLM’s sustainability objectives and is an important step towards implementing the industry action plan “Smart & Sustainable”, which was drafted by twenty leading transport organisations and knowledge centres. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will also be investing in the development of this facility.

KLM president and chief executive officer, Pieter Elbers said: “I am proud of our collaboration with SkyNRG and SHV Energy to launch a project that will see the development of the first European production facility for sustainable aviation fuel. The advent of aviation has had a major impact on the world, offering a new means of bringing people closer together.

“This privilege goes hand in hand with huge responsibility towards our planet. KLM takes this very seriously and has therefore invested in sustainability for many years. By joining hands with other parties, we can build a plant that will accelerate the development of sustainable aviation fuel.

“From 2022, the plant will produce 100,000 tonnes a year, of which KLM will purchase 75,000 tonnes. This will reduce our CO2 emissions by 200,000 tonnes a year, which is equal to the emissions released by 1,000 KLM flights between Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro.”