• Ron Kotrba

2 ITA Airways routes at Rome Fiumicino Airport fly on small amount of coprocessed SAF


Rome skyline

Starting March 25, Italia Trasporto Aereo S.p.A. (ITA Airways) will be fueling two routes from Rome Fiumicino Airport (Rome-Venice and Rome-Barcelona) with a very small amount of coprocessed sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Italian oil refiner and biobased diesel producer Eni.

At Eni’s Taranto refinery, the company is feeding conventional oil refining with half of 1 percent used cooking oil to make the coprocessed SAF. Around 3,000 metric tons of this fuel came from the Taranto refinery to the port of Civitavecchia, where it was unloaded at the coastal depot of SODECO (part of the Ludoil Group), which directly supplies Rome Fiumicino Airport. According to Eni, the organic component of the approximately 3,000 tons of this fuel available at Fiumicino airport saves more than 50 tons of CO2 compared to an equivalent load of fossil fuel products.

“Sustainable aviation biofuels are now the only solution available to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint,” said Giuseppe Ricci, general manager of energy evolution at Eni. “We are increasing the collection of waste raw materials—such as cooking oils—and also collecting more agro-feedstocks, promoting the development of crops that do not compete with the food supply chain on marginal land, particularly in Africa.”

Marco Troncone, CEO of Aeroporti di Roma, added, “The decarbonization of the aviation sector is a top priority. It is not going to be a quick process but actions like this in partnership with Eni and ITA Airways are much needed. We trust that this initiative can showcase the sector’s commitment and strength on this issue. Our hope is that this can also be supported by policies to incentivize the production and use of sustainable fuels to promote the recovery of a strategic sector for our country.”

Francesco Presicce, chief technology officer of ITA Airways, said more activities like this are in the pipeline. “The partnership between ITA Airways, Eni and ADR for the decarbonization of the skies, with the use of SAF produced and distributed in Italy, demonstrates that environmental sustainability and innovation are two key pillars of the company,” Presicce said. “We are proud to use it on two very important routes, Rome-Venice and Rome-Barcelona. Moreover, the agreement with Airbus for the new fleet will save us up to 1 million metric tons of CO2 compared to the old fleet.”

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