the oil company Cepsa and the airlines Iberia and Iberia Express have sealed a alliance to develop and produce biofuels from waste, used oils or other raw materials of plant origin on a large scale, with which to reduce emissions from planes, as well as promote and investigate other energy alternatives, such as renewable hydrogen and electricity, to promote sustainable mobility in aircraft and fleets of vehicles that provide services to them at airports (vehicles for supply, baggage loading and unloading operations, aircraft assistance and towing to the runway).
This has been announced by both companies after the corresponding signature of the president of Iberia, Javier Sanchez-Prieto; of the CEO of Iberia Express, Carlos Gomez, and the CEO of Cepsa, Maarten Wetselaar. “This alliance shows Cepsa’s commitment to sustainability and the firm determination to support our customers, providing them with viable solutions that accelerate their energy transition,” Wetselaar said, according to a statement released by the company. Cepsa has been producing biofuels at its industrial centers for more than ten years and carrying out studies to convert waste and used oils in renewable fuels high energy value.
The air Transport Before the outbreak of the pandemic, it represented 3.5% of the total greenhouse gas emissions of the European Union, but it was one of the sources of emissions that have grown the fastest by the traffic boom, according to the European Environment Agency. For this reason, one of the main challenges for the sector, beyond the recovery in demand after the spread of the coronavirus throughout the world, is its decarbonization. And one of the main ways to do it is through biofuels, for its significant reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2).
The biofuels can reduce aviation emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional kerosene, throughout its life cycle, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In addition, they promote the circular economy, increase energy independence (and, with it, security of supply) and can be used immediately without the need to renew the fleet and taking advantage of current supply infrastructures.
As part of the IAG holding company, Iberia and Iberia Express have committed to achieving zero net emissions by 2050, and to operate a minimum of one 10% of your flights with fuels from sustainable origin in 2030. For this, the Spanish airline has designed a environmental strategy pivoting on three pillars: more efficient operations −which includes all initiatives to renew the fleet, reduce fuel consumption and electrify its vehicles, among others−; an experience of more sustainable travel for its customers −through the digitization of services, the progressive elimination of plastics on board, the development of its waste management system and the compensation of the carbon footprint−; and its commitment to ecological transition of aviation, where its collaboration in the research and development of fuels of sustainable origin is framed.
“For the decarbonization of the aviation sector, the development, production and distribution of fuels of sustainable origin is essential to affordable prices and in sufficient quantity to supply the airlines. We trust that this agreement with Cepsa will contribute to that goal”, he commented Javier Sanchez-Prieto. For Carlos Gómez, CEO of Iberia Express, it is time to create “synergies between companies” that pursue “the same objective, to be able to carry out our activity and our operations while minimizing the ecological impact”.
This initiative can be framed within the set of measures ‘Fit for 55’ of the European Comission, which includes a legislative initiative called ‘RefuelEU Aviation’, which aims to boost the supply and demand of aviation biofuels in the European Union, reaching a use of 2% in 2025, 5% in 2030 and 63% in 2050.