The current and future market for aviation biofuels
Airlines are becoming increasingly interested in the potential of renewable fuels, as the industry needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. As a result, an increasing number of test flights using biofuels has been conducted after high-quality biojet has recently become available on the market.
Biojet is technically similar to renewable diesel, but the technical requirements regarding low-temperature performance and stability, for example, are even stricter. Neste Oil is the largest high-quality renewable fuel producer in the world and its production technology allows production to be shifted between diesel fuel and renewable jet within certain technical limits.
However, unlike road traffic, there are as yet very few incentives to use biofuels in aviation. As a result, its use has been limited to test flights, as costs are higher than for fossil fuel. However, there is strong interest to introduce low-carbon fuels into aviation throughout the world. For example in Europe, developments are moving ahead, as the European Union, together with industry representatives and various NGOs, has launched the FlightPath 2020 program aimed at overcoming the commercial roadblocks to biojet. Aviation biofuels could ultimately be used to fulfill the national biomandates that are currently being fulfilled mostly with road traffic fuels.
Neste Oil has committed itself to the Flightpath program, which is very much in line with the company’s goals. Neste Oil supports the development of new innovations in the field and is helping create the economic and legislative mechanisms needed to encourage the uptake of these new fuels. The company’s pioneering cooperation with Lufthansa saw Lufthansa fly four daily commercial flights using NExBTL renewable aviation fuel for six months in 2011. Read more about Neste Oil's cooperation with Lufthansa in the Sustainability section of the Annual Report.
Matti Lehmus, Neste Oil's Executive Vice President, Oil Products and Renewables