Spanish Government, Iberia, and Airbus Launch Bio-Fuel Initiative


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Spanish Government, Iberia, and Airbus Launch Bio-Fuel Initiative

By Daniel Baxter

March 31, 2011 - The Spanish government, Iberia Airlines and Airbus have signed an agreement to develop a complete Spanish ‘value chain’ for sustainable and renewable aviation bio-fuel for commercial use. Other key members are expected to join the agreement shortly. 

Signatories to the agreement signed in Madrid include Isaías Táboas, Spain’s Transport Secretary of State, Suárez, Antonio Vazquez, Iberia Airlines Chairman, and Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. 

The agreement promotes and backs initiatives to develop a complete bio-fuel production chain for Spanish aviation, using sustainable resources from production to consumption in commercial aviation, with special consideration on economic and technical analysis. 

“The implementation of biofuels by the Spanish aviation industry for the development of a complete Spanish “value chain” is a goal that will reduce our dependency on fossil energy, make our companies more competitive by reducing costs associated to CO2 and create value and wealth in other sectors of our national economy," said Isaías Táboas. “We are fully confident that both, the public and private sector can cooperate in the development and implementation of this initiative." 

“Climate change is a major challenge for our industry. The aviation sector’s ambitious CO2 reduction target is only possible if bio-fuels become a reality. Under this initiative, Iberia brings extensive experience in flight operations and in aircraft maintenance to perform the necessary tests that will make this goal a reality", said Antonio Vazquez. 

Airbus’ focus is on providing expertise and management of the feasibility, life cycle and sustainability analysis. 

“Biofuels are a must for aviation to achieve our industry's ambitious CO2 reduction targets. In fact, we believe that biofuels should primarily be reserved for aviation as our industry has no other viable alternative energy source,” said Tom Enders. “All industry players including governments have a role in helping to reduce global CO2 emission levels. Airbus is supporting value chains to accelerate the commercialisation of aviation bio-fuels.” 

The value chain brings together farmers, oil-refiners and airlines to spearhead the commercialisation of sustainable bio-fuel production. Phase one of the project will be the feasibility study. Phase two, will narrow down the most promising solutions to a demonstration level, and phase three from 2014 onwards will look at implementation and scaling up of the production process.

The initiative is being lead by the Air Safety State-Agency (AESA) and the Services and Studies for Air Navigation and Aeronautical Safety/Observatory of Sustainability in Aviation (SENASA/OBSA), under the Ministries of the Environment, of Public works and of the Industry.

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