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  • Rotterdam The Hague Airport

Rotterdam The Hague Airport accelerates SAF blending


From left, van Dijk and Toschka (Photo: Rotterdam The Hague Airport)

Shell and Rotterdam The Hague Airport signed a long-term agreement Nov. 16 to blend sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on all aircraft fueled at the airport, starting in 2024.

On top of the European blending mandate of 6 percent, the airport will accelerate its efforts by setting itself a minimum target of 8 percent to meet the more ambitious goal of the Dutch aviation sector of 14 percent by 2030.

Using SAF is among the few measures currently available to reduce emissions from international aviation.

“Sustainable fuel is essential for the future of aviation,” said RTHA CEO Wilma van Dijk. “This long-term agreement makes it possible for Shell to invest in production facilities while allowing airlines to gradually adapt to a new reality.”

Jan Toschka, president of Shell Aviation, said, “It’s fantastic to support Rotterdam The Hague Airport on decarbonizing flights through the use of SAF. It is particularly encouraging to see an airport committing to long-term SAF agreements, for volumes above the levels required under EU mandates. This type of ambition helps play an important role in providing strong, stable demand that is necessary for scaling up the supply and use of SAF.”

In its neat form, SAF can lead to a CO2 reduction of, on average, 80 percent across the chain.

Besides this, sustainable fuel leads to a reduction of soot and ultrafine-particle emissions, which, at higher percentages of blending, improves air quality.

Shell is building an 820,000-ton-per-year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, which will produce SAF and renewable diesel made from waste.

For the moment, SAF is still much more costly than fossil kerosene.

For this reason, and because large-scale production of SAF has yet to take off, it is important to phase in additional blending requirements.

RTHA has chosen to sign a long-term agreement with Shell in order to offer transparency on the growth path and cost for the users at the airport.

As a result of the European blending mandate, the aviation sector must blend in 2 percent SAF across the board by 2025.

The target for 2030 is 6 percent.

However, this is not enough to meet the Dutch aviation sector’s more ambitious target of 14 percent SAF by 2030, as set out in the Sustainable Aviation Agreement.

RTHA said it therefore wants to speed things up by raising the target for 2024 by an additional 2 percentage points.

This will be followed by incremental yearly increases of at least 1 percentage point until 2030, making for a total additional increase of minimal 8 percentage points by 2030, on top of the statutory 6 percent.

Thanks to this extra blending push, the 14 percent SAF target will be met at Rotterdam The Hague Airport.

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