Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) manufacturer has signed several deals recently to boost use of SAF. Boeing has agreed to purchase Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel supplied by EPIC Fuels, Signature Aviation and Avfuel to power its U.S. commercial operations through 2023. These fuel purchases more than double Boeing’s SAF procurement from last year. Neste’s SAF will be blended with conventional jet fuel at a 30/70 ratio to produce 5.6 million gallons of blended SAF.
“As one of the top aircraft manufacturers in the world, Boeing is sending a clear message to the entire aviation industry through this purchase that SAF is a key solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from flying,” said Michael Sargeant, Vice President Americas, Renewable Aviation at Neste. “We are proud to be a part of this collaboration along with our partners EPIC Fuels, Signature Aviation and Avfuel.”
EPIC Fuels, Signature and Avfuel will supply blended SAF for Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program and the company’s fuel storage in Washington state and South Carolina. Additionally, EPIC Fuels and Signature will supply blended SAF for generating emissions reduction benefits for Boeing to allocate for company operations including Dreamlifter and executive flights, and commercial airplane deliveries. In 2021, Boeing committed to deliver its commercial airplanes capable and certified to fly on 100 percent SAF by 2030.
Wizz Air makes SAF deal
Neste and Wizz Air have agreed on the supply of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel from 2025 onwards. The agreement gives Wizz Air the opportunity to purchase 36,000 tons of Neste-produced sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) per annum over a period of three years for the airline to use across its route network in Europe and the UK. The SAF volumes to be purchased are a key part of the airline’s environmental strategy to reduce carbon emissions intensity per passenger kilometer by 25 percent by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050. In 2022, Wizz Air achieved its lowest ever annual carbon intensity, which amounted to 55.2 grams per passenger/km. The airline has been continuously adding new Airbus A321neo aircraft to its fleet and replacing older aircraft. These aircraft can currently fly with up to 50 percent SAF blend.
“At Wizz Air, we continue to invest in innovative technology and believe that SAF is a key part of the solution for decarbonising the aviation industry. The partnership with Neste, the world’s leading producer of SAF, reaffirms our progress in reducing our carbon emissions intensity, which is already one of the lowest in the world. Working together with Neste, we will drive the adoption of SAF throughout our network, paving the way to a more sustainable future for aviation,“ said Ian Malin, Executive Vice President and Group Chief Financial Officer at Wizz Air.
“Neste is committed to helping the aviation industry move towards a more sustainable future. This agreement with Wizz Air, one of the industry’s sustainability leaders, shows how we are enabling airlines to use SAF across their route networks. We look forward to working together with Wizz Air on the reduction of their carbon emissions, as we increase our annual SAF production capacity to 1.5 million tons by the end of 2023,” said Jonathan Wood, Vice President Europe, Renewable Aviation at Neste.
Bell and Neste test SAF for helicopters
Bell Textron has completed its first flight fueled solely by 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with its Bell 505 becoming the first-ever single engine helicopter to fly using 100 percent SAF. This milestone flight was achieved by a close cooperation between Bell, Safran Helicopter Engines, GKN Aerospace, Neste and Virent. Safran Helicopter Engines, manufacturer of the Arrius 2R engine on the Bell 505, and GKN Aerospace, the fuel system component supplier, conducted thorough testing on the engine and fuel system components. Neste supplied the SAF and collaborated with Virent, the supplier of the bio-based aromatic additive, to blend, test and deliver the SAF for this project as a 100 percent drop-in fuel.
“This flight is a monumental achievement for sustainability and decarbonization in the rotorcraft industry,” said Michael Thacker, executive vice president, Commercial Business, Bell. “Showcasing a single engine aircraft’s flight capabilities with 100 percent SAF signals Bell’s commitment to alternative fuel usage and builds on its sustainability practices in its flight operations.”
“Neste is working closely together with forerunners in the aviation industry on verifying that aircraft can run safely on 100 percent SAF. This successful collaboration demonstrates that we are one step closer to enabling the entire aviation industry to take full advantage of 100 percent SAF as the key means to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions of air travel,” said Jonathan Wood, Vice President Global Commercial and Technical, Renewable Aviation at Neste.
SAF, made from renewable raw materials, such as used cooking oil, must currently be blended with conventional fossil jet fuel because SAF does not contain a component called “aromatics,” which is required to meet today’s aviation fuel specifications. Virent manufactures an aromatics component made from plant sugars, which was added to Neste’s 100 percent SAF, eliminating the need to blend SAF with fossil fuel. The SAF supplied for this test flight by Neste is therefore a “100 percent drop-in” replacement for fossil-based aviation fuel, requiring no engine modifications.