SAF project pipeline inadequate to meet EU’s targets: Fraport CEO


The current pipeline of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) projects across the European Union are unlikely to meet the targets set by the European Union, said Fraport’s CEO Stefan Schulte.

According to news reports, the CEO warned the SAF production is not ramping fast enough to meet the goals set by EU.

“There is not enough sustainable fuel to meet the quotas,” said the CEO of Fraport which operates the Frankfurt airport.

The EU has set aggressive targets for the airlines, airports, fuel producers and suppliers to use SAF from 2025 onwards made from sustainable feedstocks including CO2. The ReFuelEU Aviation mandate proportion of SAF in total fuel mix to start from 2% in 2025, 5% in 2030 and growing to 63% by 2050.

On top of that, the EU has further set a sub-mandate for e-fuels or synthetic fuels increasing from 0.7% in 2030 to 28% by 2050.

Multiple European aviation stakeholders have warned that the targets are too aggressive.

Moreover, scrutiny around the import of used cooking oil (UCO) imported from China and a soft ban on ethanol to SAF means that much of SAF demand will have to be met by power-to-liquid or synthetic fuels.

The technological readiness level of e-fuels is still in nascent stages and will take decades before it can achieve the scale needed. Meanwhile, use of hydrogen and green electricity pose additional challenges for e-fuels.