Cepsa and the Iberia Group seal an alliance to decarbonize air transport on a large scale

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Cepsa and the Iberia Group seal an alliance to decarbonize air transport on a large scale
Source: Iberia
January 24, 2022

The two large Spanish companies come together to develop and produce sustainable biofuels for aviation (SAF) from waste, recycled used oils or other raw materials of sustainable plant origin (2nd generation bios)

The presidents of Iberia and Iberia Express and the CEO of Cepsa today signed an agreement to advance in the decarbonisation of the aviation sector, through the development and research of fuels from sustainable sources and other energy alternatives such as renewable hydrogen and electricity, to promote the sustainable mobility of aircraft and the fleet of vehicles that provide services to them at airports.   

For the three companies, the development of fuels from sustainable sources (SAF) is a priority to continue advancing towards an increasingly low-carbon industry and thus contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. This project, which includes research and testing in flight with SAF, contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals number 7 (Guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy), 8 (Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work) and 13 (adopt urgent measures to combat climate change and its effects). 

Cepsa is working on an ambitious plan to turn all its businesses green and become a benchmark in the energy transition in its sector. In addition, the company has extensive experience in this field: it has been producing biofuels in its industrial centers for more than 10 years and is carrying out pioneering studies worldwide to convert waste and used oils into fuels of renewable origin with high energy value.  

For Maarten Wetselaar, CEO of Cepsa, "this alliance shows Cepsa's commitment to sustainability and its firm determination to support our customers, providing them with viable solutions that accelerate their energy transition. As a reference in the supply of fuels for the aviation sector, we share with the Iberia Group the common goal of promoting the decarbonisation of transport as a tool to combat climate change”.  

As part of the IAG Group, Iberia and Iberia Express have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and to operate a minimum of 10% of their flights with sustainably sourced fuels by 2030.  

To achieve this, the Iberia Group is developing its environmental strategy based on three pillars: more efficient operations −which include all initiatives to renew the fleet, reduce fuel consumption and electrify its vehicles, among others−; a more sustainable travel experience for its customers −through the digitization of services, the progressive elimination of plastics on board, the development of its waste management system and carbon footprint compensation−; and its commitment to the ecological transition of aviation, above all, through its collaboration in the research and development of fuels from sustainable sources.  

“For the decarbonization of the aviation sector, the development, production and distribution of fuels of sustainable origin at affordable prices and in sufficient quantity to supply the airlines is essential. We trust that this agreement with Cepsa will contribute to this objective”, commented Javier Sánchez-Prieto, president and CEO of Iberia.  

For its part, Iberia Express, as a short and medium-haul low-cost airline within the Iberia Group, will also support the transition to alternative sources of aircraft propulsion as part of this initiative. For Carlos Gómez, CEO of Iberia Express, “it is time to create synergies between companies that have the same objective, to be able to develop our activity and our operations while minimizing the ecological impact. This agreement is an important step on this path towards more sustainable air transport, in line with our joint commitment to the decarbonisation of the sector”. 

sustainable fuels 

Aviation biofuels play a key role in the decarbonisation of tourism and air transport. Compared to conventional fuel, SAF can reduce aviation emissions by up to 80% over conventional kerosene, over its entire life cycle, according to the International Air Transport Association.  

In addition, they provide other benefits: it promotes the circular economy, increases energy independence (and, with it, security of supply), ensures the maintenance of an important engine of the Spanish economy (200,000 quality jobs) and can be used immediately. without the need to renew the fleet and taking advantage of current supply infrastructures.  

To achieve the goal of zero growth in carbon emissions, since 2020, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is promoting the use of sustainable biofuels, among other initiatives, due to their significant reduction in CO2. 

This agreement between Cepsa and the Iberia Group is in line with the European Commission's set of Fit for 55 measures, which includes a legislative initiative called 'RefuelEU Aviation', which aims to boost the supply and demand of aviation biofuels in the European Union , reaching a use of 2% in 2025, 5% in 2030 and 63% in 2050.  


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