Fueling COP26

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Conventional jet fuel suppliers are keen to tout their environmental credentials by providing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for flights carrying delegates to the UN's COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow this November. European major BP revealed last week it had teamed up with UK flag carrier British Airways to fuel all BA flights from London’s Heathrow, City and Gatwick airports to Glasgow and Edinburgh for the duration of the Nov. 1-12 conference. “We want to help decarbonize the aviation industry and we will continue to collaborate with industry stakeholders and governments to explore viable options to help scale up sustainable aviation fuel more broadly,” says Air BP CEO Martin Thomsen. BP says the SAF supplied will offer up to 80% lower life-cycle carbon emissions than conventional fossil-based jet fuel. Vitol Aviation has already said it will supply SAF to Heathrow ahead of COP26. The into-wing subsidiary of Swiss oil trader Vitol became the first company ever to supply SAF to London’s main airport ahead of the G7 meeting held in Cornwall back in June. “We wrote and ensured the new quality checks and regime, and proved proof of concept,” Vitol Aviation’s General Manager Toby Davies tells Energy Intelligence. “Once that is done then the whole route is easy to follow,” he adds. Both Vitol and BP will supply SAF made by Finland’s Neste at it’s Porvoo HEFA [hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids] facility. That is the only plant making commercial volumes of SAF in Europe despite a growing number of refinery conversions and project announcements. Vitol says its SAF is blended to meet global Jet A-1 aircraft fuel standards before it leaves the trader’s Ghent storage facility, then is shipped to Heathrow like any finished fuel. Current Jet A-1 rules allow up to 50% SAF in blends.

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