Qatar Airways, Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) and Qatar Petroleum (QP) announced yesterday that they will jointly carry out engineering, economic analysis and move into the development of sustainable bio jet fuel that will also look into ways for production and supply, with the support of Airbus.
The ground-breaking initiative – a world first – comes just months after the State of Qatar’s national airline completed an historical milestone in the aviation industry.
Qatar Airways successfully conducted the world’s first commercial flight powered by a Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) fuel blend last October, which proved to be a significant development in the use of alternative fuels.
Addressing a press conference in Doha today, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Building on the experience and success of the GTL Consortium, we now move to the next phase of alternative fuels while continuing to develop GTL further. While others talk, we take action!”
Seven months ago, Qatar Airways, Qatar Science & Technology Park together with US-based Verno Systems Inc., embarked on a very comprehensive and detailed feasibility study on sustainable Biomass-to-Liquid (BTL) jet fuel and possible by-products such as bio diesel.
This study looked at all available bio feed stocks that would not affect the food or fresh water supply chain. It also looked at existing and future production technologies with a viability analysis.
Based on the result of this in-depth study, the partners have agreed to establish the “Qatar Advanced Biofuel Platform” (QABP) which will lead activities in the following four areas.
* A detailed engineering and implementation plan for economically viable and sustainable bio fuel production
* A bio fuel investment strategy
* An advanced technology development programme
* Ongoing market and strategic analysis
These activities will be built on, and primarily motivated by, the objective of executing advanced bio fuel projects – with Qatar Airways initially as a dedicated end-user.
QABP will be structured so that it can be expanded to include additional projects, technologies, investments and partnerships globally.
QABP takes a portfolio approach to the development of advanced bio fuels across feed stocks, technologies and geographies in order to meet our short, medium and long term goals.
Specific feed stocks have been identified which could be developed and processed with the aim of providing access to BTL jet fuel for use by Qatar Airways.
“Qatar Airways already has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry due to its investment of billions of US dollars in a state-of-the art aircraft fleet. By entering into the production and supply of bio jet fuels, we will be able to get closer and closer to the “much talked about” carbon neutral growth,” said Al Baker.
Together with its national entities, Qatar Science & Technology Park, Qatar Petroleum and leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus, it is the aim of Qatar Airways to make the State of Qatar one of the global leaders for advanced bio fuels.
“Following along the Airbus Alternative Fuels Roadmap, by launching this new initiative with Qatar Airways, we have taken yet another important step to reach carbon neutral growth in the aviation sector by 2020. This industry-wide cooperation will achieve real progress in finding sustainable fuel alternatives,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Director Oil & Gas Ventures at Qatar Petroleum, said: “Qatar Petroleum is committed to supply clean fuels to the world. We are currently the world’s largest supplier of LNG and GTL products and our participation in this project demonstrates our eagerness to further investigate the developing new clean fuels.”
Dr Tidu Maini, Chairman of Qatar Science & Technology Park, added: “The commitment of Qatar Airways and its partners to ensure that new aviation fuel technology is effectively applied is a great example of the kind of research being pioneered at QSTP through its partners. Research activities on alternative and environmentally-friendly fuels like BTL will establish QSTP as a leading international hub for the application of new platform technologies. This is a great example of an effective multi-partner collaborative research and development programme which is already producing successful outcomes.”