KLM, Shell and the government of the Netherlands conduct the first flight with sustainable fuel

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KLM, Shell and the government of the Netherlands conduct the first flight with sustainable fuel
Wed February 10, 2021

In a world first, the two companies and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management teamed up for an unprecedented flight


For the first time anywhere in the world, a passenger flight was carried out in the Netherlands partially made with sustainably produced synthetic avation fuel. The news was announced on Monday 8 during the international conference on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF, for its acronym in English) Synthetics, held in The Hague. Shell, producer of sustainable fuel, and KLM, flight operator, presented this novelty during the conference, which was opened by Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management. European political representatives, the business community, the aviation industry and NGOs participated in the conference.

Buenos Aires, February 10, 2021.- The Netherlands is one of the leading countries in Europe in seeking to promote the development and application of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) to make the airline industry more sustainable. The Netherlands wants to stimulate the development and application of SAF (Synthetic Sustainable Fuel and Biofuels) so that European airlines can fly fully on sustainable fuel by 2050. The Government of the Netherlands supports various initiatives to stimulate their production and use and thus make it commercially viable. An example of this is the construction of the first European sustainable aviation fuel factory in Delfzijl (Netherlands), in which KLM, SkyNRG, Schiphol Airport and SHV Energy collaborate.

500 liters delivered, refueled and used

As announced during the conference, the first commercial passenger flight took place on January 22 from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Madrid, with a mixture of 500 liters of sustainable synthetic fuel. At its Amsterdam research center, Shell produced the synthetic fuel based on CO2, water and renewable energy from the Dutch sun and wind.

“I am proud that KLM is operating the industry's first flight today using synthetic fuel made from renewable sources. The transition from fossil fuels to sustainable alternatives is one of the biggest challenges in aviation. The renewal of the fleet has contributed significantly to the reduction of CO2 emissions, but the increase in production and the use of sustainable aviation fuel will make the biggest difference for the current generation of aircraft. That is why a while ago we joined various partners to stimulate the development of sustainable synthetic aviation fuel. This first flight with synthetic fuel shows that this is possible in practice, and that we can move forward ”, stated Pieter Elbers, Managing Director of KLM

“Making aviation more sustainable is an international challenge that we face together. Today we are taking a big step in the new chapter of aviation. This promising innovation will be highly relevant in the coming decades to reduce CO2 emissions from aviation. It is great that the Netherlands were the first to show that this is possible: my congratulations to all the players involved. I hope that in these turbulent times for aviation, this will inspire industry players to continue down this path, "said Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management.

“Shell is an active player in the energy transition and our contribution to this world premiere is one such example. I am very proud that we have managed to produce 500 liters of jet fuel based on CO2, water and renewable energy for the first time. It is a very important first step and, together with our partners, we now have to go further, accelerate the process and make it commercially viable, "said Marjan van Loon, President and CEO of Shell Netherlands.

New initiatives and start-ups

During the conference, various initiatives and startups were presented. For example, startup Synkero announced that it is collaborating with the Port of Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport, KLM and SkyNRG in the realization of a commercial sustainable synthetic fuel factory in the Port of Amsterdam. The project seeks to connect with sustainable initiatives in the North Sea Canal area, such as the creation of a 100 megawatt hydrogen plant in which up to 15,000 tons of green hydrogen can be produced with sustainable electricity.

Another initiative is the construction of a sustainable fuel testing factory that uses CO2 captured from the air as raw material. The Zenid initiative, involving Uniper, Rotterdam-The Hague Airport, Climeworks, SkyNRG and the Rotterdam-The Hague Innovation Airport, uses a combination of innovative technologies to focus on CO2-neutral aviation with sustainable synthetic fuel. .

Several European politicians, including European Commission Vice-President Timmermans, German Transport Minister Scheuer and his French colleague Djebbari, stressed the importance of developing sustainably produced aviation fuels to reduce CO2 emissions and give a good future to the aviation.

During the conference, several European Member States have indicated that they want to work in this direction. In a joint statement, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Luxembourg and Spain indicated that the recovery from the current crisis due to the pandemic must be accompanied by the acceleration of the sustainability of the aviation sector to achieve the objectives. climate conditions, and ask the European Commission to present a common European slogan. Member States consider the development of sustainable synthetic fuel, in addition to sustainable biofuel, to be one of the most promising and effective ways to reduce aviation emissions in the coming decades.

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