Norwegian Air, one of Europe’s largest low-cost airlines, has partnered with Norsk e-Fuel, which produces synthetic fuels from renewable energy sources. The two companies plan to build a large-scale electrofuel plant in Norway that will produce carbon-neutral jet fuel for the aviation industry.
The plant, which is expected to be operational by 2026, will use green hydrogen and carbon dioxide captured from the air to produce liquid fuels that can be used in existing aircraft engines. The process is known as power-to-liquid or PtL, and it has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of aviation, which accounts for about 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
According to Norwegian Air and Norsk e-Fuel, the plant will have an initial capacity of 10 million liters of synthetic fuel per year, which could supply up to 50% of Norwegian Air’s fuel demand at Oslo Airport. The plant will also create 200 new jobs in the region and contribute to Norway’s goal of becoming a global leader in green aviation.
Norwegian Air CEO Geir Karlsen said in a press release that the partnership with Norsk e-Fuel is a strategic move for the airline, which has been struggling financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has recently emerged from bankruptcy protection.
“We are proud to be part of this innovative project that will not only ensure our access to sustainable and cost-efficient fuel but also create significant value for Norway as a nation,” Karlsen said. “This is the future of aviation.”
Norsk e-Fuel CEO Valentin Stalf said that the electrofuel plant will be a game-changer for the aviation industry, as it will offer a viable alternative to fossil fuels that can be scaled up and replicated around the world.
“Norsk e-Fuel is using proven technology to produce renewable fuel with zero net greenhouse gas emissions,” Stalf said. “By using Norway’s abundant renewable energy resources, we can produce enough volume to impact the industry’s emissions.”
The partnership between Norwegian Air and Norsk e-Fuel is not the only initiative to promote green aviation in Norway. The country has also set a target of having all domestic flights powered by electric or hybrid aircraft by 2040, and has supported several projects to develop and test such technologies.
Norway is also home to several companies that are developing electric vehicles (EVs) for land and sea transportation, such as Freyr, Arrival and X Shore. The country has one of the highest rates of EV adoption in the world, with more than half of new car sales being electric in 2020.
Norway’s efforts to decarbonize its transportation sector are part of its broader commitment to fight climate change and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The country is also a signatory of the Paris Agreement and a member of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS).
As the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, Norway is showing that combining economic growth with environmental sustainability is possible. And with partners like Norsk e-Fuel and Norwegian Air, it is also showing that flying without harming the planet is possible.