Corrected: Biofuels use by airlines hampered by cost, supply chain issues

24 March 2011 14:35  [Source: ICIS news]

Cost, supply hampers airline biofuels use

Correction: In the ICIS story headlined "Biofuels use by airlines hampered by cost, supply chain issues" dated 24 March 2011, please read in the penultimate paragraph ...Jonathan Counsell... instead of ...Johnathon Counsell... A corrected story follows.

ROTTERDAM (ICIS)--The adoption of biofuels by the aviation industry will be a challenging process because of high costs and supply chain issues, speakers at an industry event said on Thursday.

One of the challenges was the fact that biofuels were four times as expensive as jet kerosene, Thijs Komen, business innovation director at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, said.

This was not an expense that airlines could afford and that the cost of biofuels needed to decrease dramatically in order to be viable for aviation, he told delegates at the World Biofuels Markets conference

Joachim Buse, head of aviation biofuels at German airline Lufthansa, highlighted the fact that jet kerosene allowed airlines access to a “highly efficient supply chain with quality assurance”. He said that if the aviation industry was to use biofuels, the supply chain would have to be as effective as that of jet fuel.

Elsewhere, Martin Porsgaard Nielsen, director of environment and sustainability at SAS, highlighted how aviation and road transport were not playing on a “level playground” when it came to biofuels.

Porsgaard Nielsen said road transport benefited from mandates and incentives, whereas the aviation industry currently did not. He suggested that a global airline mandate was needed.

Jonathan Counsell, head of environment at British Airways, said that the aviation industry had no alternative to liquid fuel, unlike road transport which is able to utilise electricity, for example.

Despite the challenges, there was consensus that airlines were moving ever closer to adopting biofuels, with some already carrying out trials on renewable fuels.

By: Sarah Trinder
+44 20 8652 3214

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