KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has made a commitment to develop and purchase 75,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel a year, enough to cut emissions by the equivalent of 1,000 KLM flights on the Amsterdam to Rio route.
The commitment will support the development of Europe’s first dedicated plant for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by SkyNRG in Delfzijl, a seaport in the north-east of the Netherlands. The plant, called DSL-01, will produce 100,000 tonnes of SAF annually from 2022.
KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers says the privileges brought by aviation came with great responsibility towards the planet, which he says KLM takes very seriously.
“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,” Elbers said in a statement.
KLM will be the first airline to invest in sustainable aviation fuel on such a scale.
Maarten van Dijk, executive director of SkyNRG, said the project was an important milestone in upscaling the market for sustainable aviation fuel.
“We are the first to take a step on this scale and we hope it will serve as an example to the rest of the industry in the transition towards a sustainable future for commercial aviation,” van Dijk said.
The plant will also generate a by-product of 15,000 tonnes of bioLPG to be purchased by SHV Energy, a global LPG distribution firm, which will also be an investment partner in the facility, along with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
SHV Energy chief executive Bram Gräber said the take-up of bioLPG will reduce CO2 emissions by 35,000 tonnes a year and was in keeping with the firm’s strategy to increase the share of sustainably produced energy products.
“Our customers in Europe, many of whom are not connected to the natural gas grid, rely on SHV Energy to meet their energy needs efficiently, sustainably and safely,” Gräber said.
The DSL-01 facility will be powered by sustainable hydrogen produced using water and wind energy. As a result, the SAF will deliver a CO2 reduction of at least 85 per cent, compared to fossil fuel, as well as significantly less emissions of ultra-fine particles and sulphur.
Other firms involved in various phases of the SkyNRG project in addition to KLM and SHV Energy were: EIT Climate-KIC, Royal Schiphol Group, GROEIfonds, NV NOM, Groningen Seaports, Nouryon, Gasunie, Arcadis, TechnipFMC, Haldor Topsoe, Desmet Ballestra, Susteen Technologies, and MBP Solutions.
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