For the first time ever, oil and gas group OMV and Austrian Airlines (AUA) are producing and using regional Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in Austria.
The sustainable fuel is produced at the OMV Schwechat refinery by co-processing Austrian used cooking oil in the fuel production process. This approach makes the entire production chain as regional as possible and keeps transport routes to a minimum. Also, compared to conventional kerosene, SAF makes for a CO2 reduction of more than 80 per cent over the entire lifecycle.
One technical key advantage of sustainable aviation fuel is that the existing infrastructure can be used for storage and refuelling. With the direct pipeline connection to the Vienna International Airport, SAF will be available for fuelling Austrian Airlines aircraft as of March 2022.
“Sustainable Aviation Fuels are a key technology for a lower-carbon aviation industry,” said Alfred Stern, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV Aktiengesellschaft. “They represent a readily available, easily applicable way of reducing emissions and are equivalent to conventional fuels in terms of quality and performance. We are very serious about our role in the energy transition and will continue to work on reducing the CO2 intensity of our portfolio in the future.”
The use of 1,500 metric tons of SAF by Austrian Airlines will save around 3,750 metric tons of CO2. This compares to the CO2 emissions of 333 Vienna-London flights with a typical short to medium-haul AUA aircraft (Airbus A320). The additional costs for Sustainable Aviation Fuel are financed with the support of environmentally conscious passengers.
“Air travel needs to become more climate-friendly and sustainable fuels play the key role,” added Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of Austrian Airlines. “We are proud to become the first Austrian airline to use these fuels in our flight operations – not only for climate protection but also to strengthen Austria as a business location. I am pleased that we have taken the first step together with our partner OMV. Now, the task is to work with policymakers towards a location-based initiative to meet the EU blending mandates from 2025 onwards and hopefully even surpass them”.
The aviation industry is working intensively on cutting jet fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Lufthansa Group has pledged to halve its net CO2 emissions by 2030 and make its business CO2 neutral from 2050. Based on the strategic outlook for the aviation sector, OMV sees Sustainable Aviation Fuels as an important addition to its future jet fuel range alongside conventional kerosene.