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  • Axens

Consortium creates ‘Take Kair’ project to develop eSAF industry in France



Holcim, the Institut Français du Pétrole et des Energies Nouvelles, Axens and EDF announced June 22 that they have signed memorandum of understanding to develop “Take Kair,” an innovative industrial e-kerosene pilot in Pays de la Loire, France, which will meet the needs of the new French eSAF industry.


The Air France-KLM Group would be the main offtaker of the e-kerosene produced by this new industrial facility.


The production of hydrogen and synthetic fuels would take place in Loire-Atlantique, France, with commercial openings, either local, regional or national, according to Axens.


This cooperation will contribute to the development of the French SAF production industry, a priority raised by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, during a June 16 speech.


The production of e-kerosene will contribute to the decarbonization of air transport in anticipation of the future “ReFuel Aviation” European regulation.


The success of this project relies on the commitment of the partners to explore opportunities for industrial cooperation, based on their respective expertise:


  • For the Holcim group, the capture of biogenic CO2 of its cement plant located in Saint-Pierre-La-Cour in Mayenne, France, in line with its plan to decarbonize its production sites, integrating programs to capture and recover CO2 emissions to allow the production of green eFuels for aviation


  • For IFPEN and Axens, the development and integration of low-carbon fuel-synthesis processes and their experience in SAF production technologies


  • For the EDF Group, the development of its CO2-neutral electricity production facilities and the know-how developed both by its subsidiary Hynamics, specialized in the production of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen by water electrolysis, and by its engineering department allowing the control of its major industrial projects


The Take Kair project, one of the first industrial eSAF production projects in France, will avoid the emission of more than 100,000 tons of CO2 per year.


It is in line with the French government’s objectives in terms of decarbonizing air transport and it will be a candidate for public financial support for the emergence of a French eFuels industry, which is why it was presented at the beginning of 2023 to the French Agency for Ecological Transition ADEME and to the French ministries in charge of energy transition, industry and transport.


Provided the necessary financing is obtained, the objective is to start the construction of the industrial pilot in 2026 for a first phase of production in 2028.


A pioneer in the experimentation and use of SAF, Air France-KLM is a partner in the project.


As the world’s largest buyer of SAF in 2022, the group aims to incorporate at least 10 percent SAF into its global flights by 2030, beyond French and European regulatory obligations.


The use of e-kerosene from the Take Kair project will contribute to the achievement of this objective and the more global objective of a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometer by 2030 compared to 2019.


By joining the Take Kair project, Air France-KLM gives it the opportunity to access the emerging SAF market in Europe as well as the visibility and bankability that will be necessary for its financing.


“Our know-how and expertise combined with those of our industrial partners enables the emergence of a strong and innovative French eFuels sector,” said Cédric Lewandowski, group executive vice president in charge of EDF’s nuclear and thermal park department. “With Take Kair, we are collectively taking another essential step towards the goal of carbon neutrality.”


Pierre-Franck Chevet, president of IFPEN, added, “With Take Kair, IFPEN reaffirms its commitment to the decarbonization of the aviation sector and to national energy sovereignty. Synthetic fuels will complement advanced biofuels, an area in which the IFPEN group, especially with its subsidiary Axens, offers several technologies to reduce aeronautics’ carbon footprint.”


Jean Sentenac, chairman and CEO of Axens, said, “Axens is proud to see its expertise and technologies at the center of one of the first industrial e-kerosene production projects’ development in France, alongside emblematic players of the French industry. This marks another step towards decarbonizing the aviation sector.”


Fatima Da Gloria de Sousa, vice president of sustainability with Air France-KLM, said, “The development of sustainable aviation fuel production capabilities is essential for the successful decarbonization of air transport. It is also a great opportunity to create jobs and strengthen the energy independence of France and Europe. Air France-KLM actively supports projects like Take Kair, which aim to remove the first obstacle to the use of sustainable fuel—its availability.”

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