International aviation fuel company Air bp has announced the first sale of International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) EU sustainable aviation fuel from bp’s Castellon refinery in Spain. LATAM Cargo Chile used the fuel on a flight from Zaragoza to North America and partners in the initiative included Spanish airport operator Aena and fuel logistics company Exolum. ISCC EU is recognised by the European Commission to demonstrate compliance with legal requirements of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). ISCC has two other certification systems relevant to the supply of SAF – ISCC PLUS and ISCC CORSIA – and in 2021, NetJets Europe became the first customer to purchase Air bp’s ISCC PLUS certified SAF from the Castellon refinery. The ISCC EU SAF was made from waste-based sustainable feedstock and co-processed together with fossil fuel. Co-processing has a blending limit of up to 5% within the jet fuel specification and bp has launched an industry taskforce looking to increase this to 30%.
Despite the low blend limit, co-processing can be used to produce SAF in existing refineries with relatively minor technical modifications and does not require the high financial investment and length of time to build a new standalone production facility.
“This latest announcement marks another important milestone for Air bp as we work towards making SAF more available. As a key step in replacing fossil fuel with renewable feedstock within existing refineries, co-processing has an integral role to play in scaling up SAF production in the most economical and efficient way,” said Andreea Moyes, Air bp’s Global Sustainability Director. “We believe that all technologies and pathways, and both standalone and co-processing, are needed to help the industry decarbonise and reach its goal of net zero by 2050. The supply of ISCC EU SAF from Castellon will open new opportunities throughout the country and beyond.”
In March 2022, the bp refinery in Lingen became the first industrial production facility in Germany to use co-processing to produce SAF from used cooking oil.
The oil giant said it aims to increase SAF production further in future and has just announced that as part of the Hydrogen Cluster of the Valencia Region (HyVal), its production of biofuels, including SAF, is expected to increase three-fold, to 650,000 tonnes a year by 2030 in Castellon. Green hydrogen will be used as a feedstock for the production of SAF in an independent unit, added bp.
Commenting on the flight from Spain to North America, Andrés Bianchi, CEO of LATAM Cargo said: “It represents one of most concrete steps in our SAF fuel agenda. As a group, LATAM is committed to contributing to the protection and care of the environment, so this first fuelling reflects the importance of the collaboration of all players in the logistics chain, including Aena and Exolum.”
In June 2022, Madrid-based Exolum obtained ISCC PLUS and ISCC CORSIA certifications that guarantee compliance with high sustainability standards in biomass production, traceability of its origin and the potential saving of greenhouse gases. ISCC CORSIA certification ensures SAF complies with the sustainability criteria established by ICAO for fuels eligible under its Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). ISCC PLUS is a voluntary certification system for all markets and sectors not regulated by CORSIA and RED II.
The recognition of ISCC EU by the European Commission demonstrates that consignments of biofuel, bioliquid or biomass fuel, recycled carbon fuel and renewable liquid and gaseous transport fuel of non-biological origin comply with the respective legal requirements specified in RED II.
Exolum’s ISCC SAF certifications underpin its Avikor platform that enables airline passengers, whether corporate or individuals, to contribute to the reduction of CO2 on their flights from either Madrid Barajas or Barcelona El Prat airports through the purchase of SAF. Airline partner Vueling has committed to matching the contributions of its customers using the scheme. Spanish instant mobile payment service Bizum, which has over 21 million users, partnered with Avikor last September to decarbonise its business trips.
Top photo (bp Plc): The bp Castellon refinery
Bottom photo: Air bp, bp and LATAM Cargo representatives mark sale of ISCC EU SAF