MIAMI – Montréal-based SAF+ Consortium and Airbus sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a collaborative effort with Canadian aviation industry actors to develop and produce a new technological sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Airbus, whose investment is not financial but “in-kind”, will participate in the venture by providing technical and certification expertise, advocacy services, communication, and economic analysis.

The goal pursued by the Consortium is to provide concrete solutions and achieve a low-carbon emission air transport through the stimulation of SAF production and usage. SAF is gaining strong momentum, particularly in Europe, to meet the EU 2050 Green deal’s stringent requirements on carbon emissions.

Comments from Airbus, SAF+ Consortium

In the words of Airbus New Energy Programme Manager, Steven Le Moing, lies all of the philosophy behind the action taken by the Consortium, “Airbus, alongside many of its customers, is more than convinced the use of SAF is an essential pillar to support the aviation industry’s decarbonization journey.”

He continued by adding that the new Canadian ecosystem being built by the SAF+ Consortium is a “milestone in the race to reach a global 2050 CO2 emission reduction targets.” The Airbus participation in the Consortium is described as “the perfect example” on how to take an active part in North America decarbonization discussions while “demonstrating our commitment to making SAF an economically viable solution available to our customers.”

Jean Paquin, President and CEO of the SAF+ Consortium, concurred by declaring, SAF+ aims to be a pioneer in the field of SAF, and with the support of visionary partners such as Airbus, we will create a competitive company, able to offer one of the many technological solutions needed to decarbonize the aviation industry. ”

New Technology SAF production chart. Image: Airbus Media

Power-to-Liquid Technology

The SAF+Consortium, besides Airbus, is formed by Air Transat (TS), Hydro-Québec, Aéroports de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, and Aero Montréal which are either aerospace companies or research institutions.

The goal set by the Consortium is the transformation of YUL into a sustainable aviation hub in North America to be achieved by the construction and exploitation of a pilot SAF production plant using a new technology known as Power-to-Liquid (PTL).

This technology allows the creation of aviation fuel by capturing CO2 from large industrial emitters, synthesizing it with renewable hydrogen, and converting it into sustainable aviation fuel. The fuel so produced is expected to have an 80% reduced carbon footprint when compared to conventional aviation fuel.

Production is slated to start by the second part of 2021 at the YUL pilot plant with a target of a 30m liter output by 2025. SAF+ plans on the commitment by TS to buy a significant part of the SAF output to fuel its all-Airbus fleet.

Article sourced on Airbus Press Release

Featured image: Airbus Zero Emissions Concept Aircraft. Photo: Airbus Media