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AMSTELVEEN, The Netherlands: The Swedish Energy Agency has awarded €500,000 to a Dutch-Swedish consortium including KLM to continue R&D into developing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

The consortium also includes forestry group Södra, fossil-free energy provider Växjö Energi, SAF pioneer SkyNRG, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden and green transport NGO 2030-sekretariatet.

Using technology based on Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, they plan to build a facility in the Växjö region of Småland, Sweden capable of producing 16,000 tonnes of high quality SAF annually from 2026.

According to KLM vice president Sustainability Karel Bockstael, current production technology based on used cooking oils will not be enough to meet future airline demand for SAF so the availability of large quantities of forest residues in Sweden and other parts of Northern Europe make it a promising scalable feedstock.

Aero engine manufacturer Rolls Royce says the current generation of SAF reduces lifecycle carbon emissions by up 70 percent but assumes this will increase to 100 percent.

The company acknowledges it is playing an active role in advocating 100 percent SAF for use in commercial aviation from the current 50 percent blend limit.

Lotta Lyrå, president and CEO of Södra, said using every part of a tree, including residues, is a goal of her 53,000 forest-owning members’ contribution to the climate transition.

“Making high quality SAF from forest residues not suitable for buildings or other materials is a way of doing so and help de-carbonize aviation. With this consortium, we are working through the entire value chain to take the next step towards creating a new industry of sustainable aviation fuel,” she added.

NGOs, the Swedish government, Södra, certification systems, academics and SkyNRG’s Sustainability Board will study the carbon balance and forest biodiversity as well as potential displacement effects of utilising residues for SAF production.

"The potential to use forestry residues for higher value end-uses, like SAF, is there,” commented SkyNRG managing director Maarten van Dijk, “But before taking a next step in scaling up, it is critical to make sure we understand the sustainability and impacts of this new, integrated supply chain.

"We are therefore very grateful for the strong partnership and financial support from the Swedish government to take a next big step in understanding the true potential of this feedstock/technology setup.”

TOULOUSE, France: CMA CGM has signed a five-year agreement with France’s space agency CNES to identify, design and develop innovative solutions for marine shipping logistics and the space industry.

Mutual R&D will cover smart ship routing to enhance crew safety at sea and manage shipping’s environmental footprint; developing practices for producing, storing, distributing, filling and using hydrogen; employing digital technology to upgrade port activities and infrastructures; and using space technology to develop a reliable and sustainable end-to-end service for global tracking.

“CNES is world- renowned for its space expertise,” commented CMA CGM chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé. “This unique partnership will cement our innovation strategy, enabling us to benefit from technologies developed by CNES, be it to optimize our operations or to support our energy transition.”

Founded in 1961, CNES is the initiator of major space projects, launch vehicles and satellites working in five core areas: Ariane, science, Earth observation, telecommunications and defence. On behalf of France it is also the leading contributor to the European Space Agency (ESA), which conducts Europe’s space policy for 22 member states.

Speaking at the agreement signing, CNES chairman and CEO Philippe Baptiste noted it was a perfect illustration of the agency’s goal to reach outside the space industry – particularly the mobility, environment and healthcare sectors.

LONDON: As leaders of the G7 economies prepare to meet in the UK on June 11, CEOs of 17 shipping lines are calling on governments to support a US$5 billion R&D programme to enable low-carbon and carbon-free ships meet an International Maritime Organization (IMO) target of 50 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2050.

The group, members of the World Shipping Council, propose a new, industry-funded International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB), governed by the IMO, to coordinate R&D and prototype development of zero-carbon fuels and technologies in the maritime sector.

They say a dramatic increase in funding would enable the development of commercially viable low-carbon/no-carbon ships by the early 2030s.

Ten IMO Member States are currently co-sponsors of the IMRB proposal and the WSC members now want all governments to support the initiative because they say it benefits both the climate and society: “It provides a global solution to a global problem of shipping emissions – all nations will have access to the IMRB’s work and the technologies that it advances."

“Everything we do now to accelerate R&D will reduce the ultimate cost to society of decarbonisation by identifying promising technologies early and avoiding stranded investments.

“If carbon pricing is to deliver results, there must be zero-carbon options. The IMRB will make these options available, and the sooner we do that essential research and development work, the more effective any carbon pricing tool will be. It is not either/or. It is both/and,” they add.

Noting the world’s economies cannot afford a chaotic decarbonisation of shipping nor any time lost in tackling the technology challenge, the operators – representing Asian, European and North American maritime interests - say government leaders should “show engagement and climate leadership on the international stage” by supporting the IMRB.

They are: Jae-hoon Bae, President & CEO, HMM; Randy Chen, Vice-Chairman, Wan Hai Lines; Cheng-Mount Cheng, Chairman, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp; Matthew J. Cox, Chairman & CEO, Matson Inc.; Thomas B. Crowley, Owner & CEO, Crowley Maritime; Eli Glickman, President & CEO, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.; Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO, Hapag-Lloyd AG; Tim Hartnoll, Executive Chairman, X-Press Feeders Group; Eric Hsieh, CEO, Evergreen Marine Corp. (Taiwan) Ltd.; John Kirkland, CEO and Owner, Independent Container Line (ICL); Hitoshi Nagasawa, President, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK); Jeremy Nixon, CEO, Ocean Network Express; Erik Noeklebye, COO Shipping Services, Wallenius Wilhelmsen; Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman & CEO, CMA CGM; Søren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk; Soren Toft, CEO, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.; and Kenny Ye, Executive Vice President, COSCO Shipping Holding and Chief Operating Officer, OOCL.

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