Brussels Airlines takes delivery of Neste SAF from NATO Pipeline System


Brussels Airlines has become the first airline to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) at Brussels Airport using  the NATO Central European Pipeline System (CEPS).

The airline, part of Lufthansa Group, used the SAF for flights on 1st January 2023. 

“To achieve our climate goals, we will have to drastically increase the use of alternatives to fossil fuels in the coming years. Together with the Lufthansa Group, we have already invested in the production and use of SAF for several years,” said Peter Gerber, CEO of Brussels Airlines. “The fact that sustainable aviation fuel can now be transported from the blending facility all the way to our aircraft in a fast and environmentally friendly way is an important step to increase the use of this type of fuel in the near future.” 

The SAF was produced by Neste in Poorvo, Finland. Neste then blended it with conventional fuel in its facility in Ghent, Belgium.

“Sustainable aviation fuel is the most effective tool currently available to reduce the emissions of air travel. Neste is working with partners like Brussel Airlines and the Lufthansa Group, airports and logistics providers to make SAF available across Europe and globally,” said Jonathan Wood, Vice President Europe, Renewable Aviation at Neste. “Following permission by NATO to transport SAF on the CEPS system, we are proud to be the first to deliver SAF into the pipeline to Brussels airport. We look forward to using the largest pipeline system in Europe to supply other airports in the near future. Pipelines are the most efficient way to supply as Neste is scaling up SAF production capacity to 1.5 million tons annually in 2023.”

CEPS is the largest petroleum pipeline system in NATO and is used to deliver fuel for both air and ground vehicles across Europe. It comprises some 5,300 km of pipeline running through Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. It connects directly with 20 military airbases and six commercial airports. The 5,279 Km pipeline connects 36 depots. There are three rail loading stations and 16 truck loading stations. It is connected to 11 refineries and six sea entry points.


SAF Investor Quick Take

Getting SAF into NATO’s central pipeline is a key milestone. Just 10 airports account for more than half of all European aviation fuel usage. Neste will also start producing SAF in 2023 from its Rotterdam refinery which will also be blended in Ghent and available for CEPS. 



  • Sander Van Hercke says:

    How was the neat-SAF transported from Porvoo to Ghent?

    • Alasdair Whyte says:

      We will ask.

      Rotterdam is Europe’s busiest port with access to the North Sea as well as the river Rhine. This allows Neste to take the feedstock direct from both ocean and inland vessels and ship SAF out. There are also rail and pipeline connections that can be used. Neste is expanding its quay so it can take the largest ocean-going ships. Rotterdam is home to five fossil fuel refineries. Shell is planning to start making 400,000t of SAF a year from a nearby biofuel refinery in 2024.

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