Agreement between Eni and Rome Airports for decarbonisation and aviation biofuels

 In Fuels, NEWS & INTERVIEWS, Sustainable Mobility, Technical innovation

The creation of “smart hubs” with sustainable fuels and services is expected in coming months

Decarbonization in the aviation sector and the development of sustainable aviation fuels. These are the main points of the strategic agreement signed between Eni and Rome Airports (Adr). The objective is to accelerate the ecological transition process of airports by promoting decarbonisation and digitalisation initiatives to help create full-scale “smart hubs”. In particular, bio-fuels for aviation (Saf, Sustainable Aviation Fuels) and ground handling (Hvo, Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) will be launched in coming months. Energy integration projects will also be developed, alongside a programme for sustainable mobility services and distribution to end customers.

The “jet fuel” sector is experiencing continuous evolution, which will inevitably be the future of the aviation sector. Production of these “green” fuels largely reflects circular economy principles. On a European Union scale, the “ReFuelEU Aviation” initiative, for example, obliges fuel suppliers to increase the percentage of sustainable aviation fuels, thereby ensuring a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to fossil fuels. Stimulating supply and demand of sustainable fuels would help achieve the climate objectives outlined in the “Fit for 55” package of measures adopted by the European Commission. Through the European Union Emissions Trading System (Ets), the Commission seeks to phase out free-of-charge emission allowances for aviation. Major oil and gas companies are also working together to promote the supply of aviation biofuels.

Eni has already committed to promoting the circular economy by developing innovative technologies and sustainable mobility since 2014, producing hydrogenated Hvo biofuels thanks to Ecofining technology, which also makes it possible to produce sustainable fuels from raw materials of vegetable origin and waste. The supply of fully decarbonised products will be achievable thanks to the new “net zero carbon to 2050” strategy combining environmental and financial sustainability. Eni’s main actions to promote the decarbonisation process include the recent merger of its renewable and retail divisions, the development of biorefineries, production of biomethane, the sale of low-carbon energy carriers and mobility services in service stations.

Rome Airports – the first Italian airport and the best European airport for the last three years – has been carbon neutral since 2013 and has decided to zero its emissions by 2030. This objective is further accredited by the highest certification for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in airports (ACA 4), the first and only one for a European airport. It is also the first airport in the world to have recently issued a 500 million euro Sustainability-Linked Bond, which directly links the cost of borrowing to the sustainability results achieved.