Stargate partners welcome supply of SAF through NATO pipeline at Brussels Airport


As of January 1, 2023, the NATO pipeline supplying Brussels Airport with kerosene will be opened for the transport of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Stargate partner Brussels Airlines transported the very first batch of sustainable aviation fuel transported via this route. TUI fly and DHL also welcome the fact that sustainable aviation fuels can now be supplied in a fast and environmentally friendly way via this system. An important milestone to increase the use of sustainable fuels in the coming years and reduce CO2 emissions. 

Sustainable aviation fuel can now be delivered to Brussels Airport in a smooth, safe and CO2-free manner via the NATO pipeline (CEPS or Central Europe Pipeline System). SAF are an important instrument in decreasing the ecological footprint of aviation. SAF reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 80%* over the lifetime of the fuel compared to using fossil aviation fuel.

Brussels Airlines operated a symbolic first SAF flight on January 1st 2023 from Brussels to Malaga. They purchased 2,000 barrels of 1,000 liters each with a blend of 38% SAF, produced from sustainably sourced, 100% renewable waste and residual raw materials, including used cooking oil and animal fat waste. Fuelling services partner Skytanking used its full electric fuel hydrant dispenser that is currently being tested as part of Stargate to refuel the aircraft with SAF. Partner airlines TUI fly and DHL are also ready to order sustainable fuels via this new opportunity.

Ambitions ahead of the European target

While the European Commission (ReFuelEU) is working towards an obligation of 2% SAF from 2025 and 5% from 2030, the partners of the Stargate project are aiming for 5% SAF by 2026. Having SAF readily available through the already available infrastructure at the airport and the NATO pipeline is an important optimization if it comes to the supply.

In order to promote the collection of raw materials for SAF, a population survey and awareness campaign will be deployed within the Stargate project by the University of Hasselt and Quatra to inform and sensitize the general public to collect more used frying oil for SAF production. Within Stargate, we will also work on promoting the use of SAF at Brussels Airport. A large-scale blending facility as was first going to be explored is now no longer necessary, but smaller-scale blending of biofuel with kerosene with high blend ratios at the request of partners will be further explored and developed.

“Having sustainable aviation fuels available at the airport has been a priority for us and we are pleased that, thanks to NATO’s support, this has now been realised. As an airport, within the framework of our European Stargate programme, we have expressed the ambition to aim for 5% SAF on total kerosene imports by 2026. That is faster than the European target, but we want to fully commit to this together with our airline partners.” said Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport. 

“To achieve our climate goals, we will have to drastically increase the use of alternatives to fossil fuels in the coming years. The fact that we can now transport the sustainable aviation fuel from the blending facility all the way to our aircraft at Brussels Airport in a fast and environmentally friendly way is an important step to increase the use of this type of fuel in the near future,” said Peter Gerber, CEO of Brussels Airlines. 

“TUI fly absolutely welcomes the availability of SAF at Brussels Airport, our home base. Besides permanently renewing our fleet for lower emissions, this is an important step towards even more sustainable aviation in the future.” said Gunther Hofman, Managing Director TUI fly Western Region


*When used in neat form (i.e. not blended) and calculated using recognized life cycle analysis methods, such as the CORSIA methodology.

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