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Collaboration between Port of Rotterdam Authority and Rotterdam The Hague Airport for more sustainable aviation fuel

On the first day of the World Hydrogen Summit in Ahoy Rotterdam, Rotterdam The Hague Airport and the Port of Rotterdam Authority signed a letter of intent for the further development of supply chains for sustainable fuels, such as Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and hydrogen as aviation fuel. Both ports are working on establishing new chains for supplying, producing and purchasing alternative fuels and will share knowledge in this area.

Making aviation sustainable
Making aviation sustainable has three directions. First, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). These alternative fuels can be blended in existing aircraft. Second, battery-electric flights, whereby batteries are used as energy carriers in the aircraft. Third, using green hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier. For RTHA, all three directions are relevant and applicable.

Marielle Chartier (Business Manager Port of Rotterdam), Nico van Dooren (Director New Business Development & Portfolio Port of Rotterdam), Wilma van Dijk (CEO Rotterdam The Hague Airport) Daan van Dijk (Innovator Rotterdam The Hague Airport)

For example, electrification will be used for short flights such as training flights and in the coming years, the blending of SAF will be accelerated beyond the European blending obligation for commercial aviation at the airport. Furthermore, the airport is focusing on the application of hydrogen. As well as the development of hydrogen-powered aircraft, this new form of aviation also requires the development of a completely new hydrogen infrastructure at airports and associated (supply) chains. The knowledge and experience acquired in this new area will be shared with and between other (European) airports.

Airport and port
In the port of Rotterdam, various parties produce and import sustainable kerosene based on bio-based raw materials (SAF) as well as hydrogen. Companies such as Shell, Neste, Varo, UPM and BP have announced their intentions, and the first plants are under construction for this purpose. Besides this bio-based SAF, future demand will also include SAF based on CO2, called eFuels. Hydrogen is required as a source to produce eFuels.

RTHA is a relatively small airport where there’s space for innovation in new fuels. Small-scale liquid hydrogen storage is under development and several hydrogen-related projects have been scheduled. Furthermore, the airport is close to the Rotterdam port where these new fuels will be present. The region thereby appears well positioned to actively contribute to making aviation sustainable and can form a hub for making aviation sustainable.

Development of new supply chains
Various elements play a role in the construction of new chains for alternative fuel: the infrastructure, transport chains, standardisation and certification, and the associated (new) safety requirements. This development requires a completely new collaboration, and new parties must find each other to build the supply chains for these fuels. The collaboration between the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Rotterdam The Hague Airport makes it possible to construct these chains on a small scale, to learn from them and then roll them out on a larger scale. The collaboration can thereby serve as a blueprint for supply chains of sustainable fuels such as SAF and hydrogen, for other regions and larger airports, such as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for instance. This collaboration brings the parties that are required to develop these new chains for making aviation sustainable closer together.

Entrance of Rotterdam The Hague Airport
Port of Rotterdam Authority and RTHA have started a study into the volume expectations towards 2050 and associated (supply) chains. Furthermore, the first pilot cases have already been scheduled at the airport as part of the DutcH₂ Aviation Hub hydrogen programme. Both parties are looking for partners to validate these expectations and for the further development of the chains. Parties who can contribute to this are invited to contact RTHA and/or the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Source: Port of Rotterdam

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