• Ron Kotrba

Polish airline, oil refiner sign SAF agreement


Photo: PKN Orlen

Polish oil company PKN Orlen announced July 11 that it has signed an agreement with the Polish airline Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT to cooperate in implementing solutions to help meet the requirements of the EU’s Fit for 55 regulations.

The fuel producer’s hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) plant currently under construction in Płock, Poland, the investment into which management approved last fall, will enable the company to offer low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to airlines starting in 2025.

The SAF produced by Orlen will be made from used cooking oil, the company said.

“In the NetZero resolution passed by the International Air Transport Association, carriers committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050,” Orlen stated. “One response to the challenges facing the industry is HVO technology, which converts feedstocks such as vegetable oils, waste cooking oils or algae oils into biofuel or into a biocomponent for jet fuel.”

Once the project underway at the Płock refinery is completed, PKN Orlen will be able to manufacture up to approximately 100 million gallons of HVO per year, an equivalent of about 50 percent of the jet fuel produced annually by the Orlen Group.

“The aviation industry perfectly shows the scale of change that is taking place across the entire energy and fuel industry,” said Daniel Obajtek, president of the management board of PKN Orlen. “That’s why we consistently invest and develop technologies that will enable us to offer advanced clean products to our customers, while sharpening the competitive edge of the group. According to our estimates, sustainable aviation fuels will account for 3 percent of global consumption in 2030. This is a huge development opportunity, which we want to capitalize on effectively in line with the Orlen2030 strategy.”

Rafał Milczarski, president of the management board of LOT, added, “Passengers’ trust in LOT is both an honor and a commitment. We care about the environment as well as the safety and comfort of travel. Sustainable fuel is one of the numerous initiatives PLL LOT is taking to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. I am thrilled to be able to pursue that goal in partnership with PKN Orlen, a regional leader in biorefining.”

Per the new agreement between Orlen and LOT, the two organizations will share their knowledge and experience in sustainable fuels and jointly run projects to implement SAF in civil aviation, in line with the FIT for 55 package and the Refuel Aviation initiative.

Although regulations requiring the use of sustainable fuel in the EU are currently being negotiated, LOT plans to use SAF on all flights from the airports where it will be supplied by Orlen.

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