By Elsa Baxter
Joint agreement to develop bio fuel set between major aviation and energy players.
Qatar Airways is one step closer to achieving carbon neutral growth, its CEO said on Monday, following the announcement of a joint agreement to develop bio fuel.
The airline, along with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) and Qatar Petroleum (QP), with the support of the French plane manufacturer Airbus, will jointly develop production of the alternative fuel.
The initiative comes just months after Qatar's national airline completed the world's first commercial flight powered by a Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) fuel blend in October.
The GTL fuel is more environmentally friendly because it burns with lower sulphur dioxide and particulate emissions than conventional oil-based petroleum. Qatar is aiming to become one of the global leaders for alternative energy sources, particularly bio fuels which can also reduce carbon emissions.
"We now move to the next phase of alternative fuels while continuing to develop GTL further. While others talk, we take action!" Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO told a press conference in Doha.
Following a feasibility study into bio fuel seven months ago, the Qatar Airways partners agreed to establish the Qatar Advanced Biofuel Platform (QABP) to develop the fuel.
Initially Qatar Airways will be a dedicated end-user, and there is a view to opening the production out to other airlines and companies, the firms said in a joint statement.
"Qatar Airways already has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry due to its investment of billions of US dollars in a state-of-the art aircraft fleet. By entering into the production and supply of bio jet fuels, we will be able to get closer and closer to the "much talked about" carbon neutral growth," said Al Baker.
"By launching this new initiative with Qatar Airways, we have taken yet another important step to reach carbon neutral growth in the aviation sector by 2020. This industry-wide cooperation will achieve real progress in finding sustainable fuel alternatives," said Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO.
Letâ€™s hope Qatarâ€™s efforts go better than its failed competitors. The biomass-to-liquid jet fuel formula has been tried, but perhaps Qatar will have more luck in making it affordable and efficient. Interested in biofuels or alternative energies? Check out http://www.greencollareconomy.com. It has hundreds of case studies on emerging green technology and biofuels. It also has the largest b2b green directory on the web.