The race for biofuels is launched in the air sector

This is the latest contract signed in this area. Air-France-KLM announced on Monday, December 5, an agreement with TotalEnergies for the ten-year supply of 800,000 tons of sustainable aviation fuel (CAD or SAF according to the English acronym for “susable aviation fuel » ).

The company had already placed an order with the Finn Neste and the American DG Fuels for 1.6 million tonnes of this fuel, produced from waste animal fats or even used cooking oils. The Franco-Dutch carrier is thus aiming for a 30% reduction in its CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometre, the benchmark unit for the sector, in 2030 compared to 2019.

For its part, TotalEnergies is already positioning itself as a future major player in the sector, with the ambition of producing 1.5 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel by 2030. On December 1, its competitor Shell committed to supply 360,000 tons of green kerosene to Ryanair, after signing a similar agreement with Lufthansa last summer.

Tighter regulations

It has become, in fact, a major issue for most major airlines seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. They are singled out by part of the public and the expected tightening of regulations means that they have no other choice.

In France, companies have already been forced to incorporate 1% green kerosene since January 1, 2022. This rate will be increased to 2% in 2025 at European Union level and should rise to 5% in 2030. Some are already talking about a rate of 37% in 2040 and 85% in 2050.

Find new resources

Airlines are thus engaged in a race to secure their supplies, which cost three to four times more than kerosene. Some, like Air France-KLM, also commit to strict criteria. This new fuel must not compete with human or animal food and it must be certified, in particular to prove that it does not come from palm oil.

They must therefore move quickly by multiplying long-term contracts now, before prices soar with the increase in demand. But the offer must also be able to follow, with large-scale local production. The agreement signed with TotalEnergies “ is a new stone in favor of the emergence of a French industry”, said Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, in a press release.


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