Qantas, Airbus to help develop SAF industry in Australia.
Image by Airbus (www.airbus.com)
June 20 (Renewables Now) - Australian carrier Qantas Group and European plane maker Airbus Group (EPA:AIR) have committed to jointly invest up to USD 200 million (EUR 191m) to help create a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry in Australia.
The companies signed a partnership, the Australian Sustainable Aviation Fuel Partnership, in Doha on Sunday, ahead of the annual general meeting (AGM) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It is initially for five years and could be extended.
The two firms will invest in Australian developed and produced SAF and feedstock initiatives that are commercially viable. They explained that since there is no commercial-scale SAF industry in Australia, the country is exporting millions of tonnes of SAF feedstock like canola and animal tallow each year. At the same time, Qantas has a target of using 10% SAF in its fuel mix by 2030.
The airline’s contribution to the tie-up includes AUD 50 million (USD (35m/EUR 33m) previously committed to SAF research and development in Australia.
The partnership is related to recently announced plane orders and aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney is also contributing to the venture.
“Aviation is an irreplaceable industry, especially for a country the size of Australia, and one that’s located so far away from so much of the world. Future generations are relying on us to get this right so they too can benefit from air travel,” commented Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce.
"This investment will help kickstart a local biofuels industry in Australia and hopefully encourage additional investment from governments and other business and build more momentum for the industry as a whole,” added Joyce.