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SAS in unique partnership on fossil-free aviation fuel

SAS, together with Vattenfall, Shell and LanzaTech, will investigate the large-scale production of the world’s first synthetic sustainable aviation fuel produced from green electricity and recovered carbon dioxide.

SAS has a number of ongoing initiatives to make travel more sustainable. The latest of these involves synthetic sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), also known as electrofuel. The goal is that a new production facility will produce up to 50,000 tonnes of synthetic SAF annually from fossil-free electricity and recovered carbon dioxide. The synthetic SAF will be produced using the LanzaJet “Alcohol to Jet” technology, developed by LanzaTech and the U.S Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The ambition is to commission the new production facility sometime between 2026 and 2027 near Forsmark on Sweden’s east coast. When full production is up and running, it could provide SAS with up to 25 per cent of its global demand for sustainable aviation fuel in the 2030s.

“SAS and Sustainability go hand in hand. Our joint commitment in finding ways to enable large-scale production of a more sustainable aviation fuel is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate the commercialization of SAF, and thus SAS’s transition towards industry-leading zero-emission flights,” says Anko van der Werff, President and CEO, SAS. 

The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and agreed that Vattenfall will investigate fossil-free electricity supply, hydrogen production and carbon dioxide recovery. Shell will investigate fuel production and logistics and will also purchase some of the electrofuel. LanzaTech will provide its gas fermentation expertise to make ethanol. The parties will also license the LanzaJet “Alcohol to Jet” technology to convert the ethanol to electrofuel. SAS will participate as a potential buyer of the electrofuel.

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