Neste Oil has joined the ITAKA (Initiative Towards Sustainable
Kerosene for Aviation) project, which is being funded by the
European Union (EU) to support the commercialization and use of
renewable aviation fuel in Europe, the company confirmed
Neste Oil's role in the consortium will be to produce the
renewable fuel used in the project.
The 36-month ITAKA project has been granted about 10
million Euros of funding under the EU's seventh framework
program for research and development (2007-2013).
In addition to Neste Oil, the consortium is made up of Airbus,
BIOTEHGEN, Camelina Company Espanã, CLH, EADS IW,
Embraer, EPFL, MMU, SENASA, RE-CORD, and SkyNRG.
Neste Oil will produce a total of 4,000 tons of NExBTL
renewable aviation fuel as part of the project, primarily from sustainably
produced Spanish camelina oil, and possibly also used cooking
The resulting renewable fuel, together with the camelina oil
used to produce it, will be certified in accordance with the
European Commission-approved RSB EU RED certification system,
according to the company.
The renewable fuel will be blended with conventional fossil
aviation fuel in accordance with the appropriate ASTM standard
to create a 50/50 blend that will then be distributed to
European airlines for use on their commercial flights.
Rather than aiming for any commercial gain from the project,
the members of the consortium will focus on building up common
research and test data on the use of renewable aviation fuel,
in areas such as logistics and the practical issues related to
fueling associated with scheduled flights in Europe.
The project is also aimed at supporting
the goal of the European Aviation Biofuels Flightpath
initiative of producing 2 million tons of renewable fuel for
airline use annually by 2020.
Neste Oil has already carried out trials on the use of
NExBTL renewable aviation fuel in commercial service.
During a recent six-month trial, Lufthansa flew a total of
1,187 flights between Frankfurt and Hamburg using
NExBTL renewable aviation fuel, as well as one
intercontinental flight between Frankfurt and Washington DC.
These flights showed that the fuel is ideally suited to
commercial use, according to Neste officials, and contributed a
reduction of over 1,500 tons in CO2 emissions and an
approximately 1% reduction in fuel consumption.