Multi-energy company Repsol has started to supply sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to Atlas Air for use in all its flights with its customer fashion retailer Inditex from Zaragoza Airport, Spain.
The agreement makes Atlas Air the first cargo airline to use SAF regularly on its cargo flights in Spain, marking a new milestone in the airline sector.
Atlas Air is initially incorporating five per cent SAF in all its flights which it started to implement in November.
The initiative is in line with the companies’ commitments to achieve their respective carbon footprint reduction goals.
It also helps positions each company to comply with anticipated compliance measures included in the ReFuelEU Aviation regulations that require use of two per cent renewable fuels in 2025, six per cent in 2030 and 70 per cent in 2050, respectively.
Óliver Fernández, director of international aviation at Repsol, said: “With this agreement, we take another step in the decarbonisation of aviation. We show that SAF is the future, but also the present.
“With the upcoming launch of our new advanced biofuels plant in Cartagena, Spain, we are ready to supply the sector with the SAF it needs to realise its decarbonisation ambitions.”
Richard Broekman, chief commercial officer and head of sustainability at Atlas Air Worldwide, said: “We are committed to contributing to the sustainability of the aviation sector and appreciate this opportunity to work with our valued partners at Inditex and Repsol.
“It is critical for our sector to work together in driving wider adoption and availability of SAF, which ultimately will have a positive impact on our industry and the environment.”
The agreement also aims to enhance local SAF production, both in terms of refinery capacity and in the sourcing of nearby raw materials, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the aviation sector.
In the coming weeks, Repsol says it will start up its first plant dedicated exclusively to the production of advanced biofuels in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the first plants of its kind in Europe at its industrial complex in Cartagena (Spain). Repsol has invested more than €200 million in the construction of the plant which will have a production capacity of 250,000 tonnes of SAF and renewable diesel per year.
According to IATA, total SAF production worldwide in 2022 was 240,000 tonnes. In 2025, approximately 120,000 tonnes will be needed in Spain to cover the two per cent obligation of ReFuelEU Aviation.
Repsol says that production of the new plant will be able to cover all the SAF demand in the Iberian Peninsula, complying with the obligation until the European mandate rises to three per cent.
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