• Airbus

Airbus joins Canada’s SAF+ Consortium to accelerate development of new technology


Airbus and the Montreal, Canada-based SAF+ Consortium have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate with major Canadian aviation industry players on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) development and production in North America. Airbus will be investing through in-kind contributions, which consist of technical and certification expertise, economic analysis, communications and advocacy.

The announcement marks the launch of a new Canadian ecosystem dedicated to stimulating the production of SAF and connecting Airbus with prominent Canadian actors spanning the entire aviation value chain to develop a concrete solution that will make low-carbon flying a reality.

The aviation sector is a global industry and while momentum for SAF is growing, particularly in Europe, investment in SAF’s worldwide development is of equal importance to enable the entire sector to achieve significant CO2 emissions reductions around the globe.

“Airbus, alongside many of its customers, is more than convinced the use of SAF is an essential pillar to support the aviation industry’s decarbonization journey,” said Steven Le Moing, Airbus new energy program anager. “Building this new Canadian ecosystem alongside the SAF+ Consortium is a key milestone as we continue to push to reach our global 2050 CO2 emissions-reduction targets. This partnership is a perfect example of how Airbus is actively shaping decarbonization discussions in North America, while demonstrating our commitment to making SAF an economically viable solution available to our customers.”

Jean Paquin, president and CEO of the SAF+ Consortium, said, “SAF+ aims to be a pioneer in the field of SAF, and with the support of visionary partners such as Airbus, we will create a competitive company, able to offer one of the many technological solutions needed to decarbonize the aviation industry.”

The SAF+ Consortium brings together a number of key Quebec-based aerospace companies and research institutions, such as Air Transat, Hydro-Quebec, Aéroports de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Aéro Montréal.

The SAF+ Consortium’s goal is to transform Montreal into a sustainable aviation hub in North America through the construction and subsequent operation of a pilot SAF production plant. Situated close to Montreal, this pilot plant will produce a type of SAF known as Power-to-Liquid (PtL), which is an e-fuel consisting of captured carbon dioxide (CO2) synthesized with renewable (green) hydrogen. The process involves capturing CO2 from large industrial emitters and converting it into an alternative fuel. It is estimated that the fuel produced by SAF+ will have an 80 percent lower carbon footprint compared to conventional jet fuel. The consortium builds on Air Transat's commitment to purchase a significant portion of the future SAF produced at the plant for its all-Airbus fleet.

SAF+ intends to produce SAF as early as the second half of 2021 at its first pilot plant. A commercial project of nearly 8 million gallons is planned for 2025.

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