Energy supplier Uniper, energy technology concern Siemens Energy and aircraft manufacturer Airbus are teaming up with chemical and energy company Sasol EcoFT to realise a commercial project to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for Germany: “Green Fuels Hamburg”.
The four project partners cover the entire value creation chain necessary to produce CO₂-neutral kerosene, so-called Power-to-Liquid kerosene.
The project is also supported by TUHH Technical University of Hamburg as research partner, Hamburg’s senate (Ministry for Economic Affairs and Innovation, and the Ministry for the Environment, Climate Action, Energy and Agriculture) as well as Hamburg Airport. In addition, the airline Emirates has indicated its interest in acting as a customer for the PtL-SAF produced by Green Fuels Hamburg.
Green Fuels Hamburg is designed to make a substantial contribution to decarbonising the aviation sector. From 2026, the production facility in its initial configuration is projected to produce at least 10,000 tonnes of PtL-SAF annually. This would produce 20% of the PtL-SAF required by the German government in its PtL Roadmap for SAF blends from 2026.
As a world-leading innovation and aviation hub, Hamburg offers the best possible preconditions for this pioneering industrial-scale project. The region is close to renewable energy sources while also being home to SAF customers in industry and aviation.
The Green Fuels Hamburg consortium plans to build a major electrolysis plant to produce green hydrogen using electricity provided by offshore wind power in an industrial zone in Hamburg’s Billbrook/Rothenburgsort area. This is coupled with on-site production of PtL-SAF with synthesis techniques that will include the Fischer-Tropsch process, and using green hydrogen and processed CO₂ to produce a sustainable kerosene. The result is CO₂-neutral SAF that is already certified as an aviation fuel today. This makes Green Fuels Hamburg a pioneer for PtL-SAF production in Germany, supporting ambitions for the city of Hamburg to build a sustainable economy with renewable fuels.
Commenting from the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economic Affairs and Innovation said: “Green hydrogen is a key technology of the future on the path to climate neutrality. This also applies to downstream products such as fuels synthesised using electricity. The market ramp-up of hydrogen is one of the most important projects in northern German economic and energy policy, and is of immense importance for the whole of Germany.
“With a resurgence in passenger numbers, high airfreight volumes and rising oil prices, alternatives to fossil kerosene and solutions for reducing CO2 emissions are essential. The climate-neutral aviation of the future needs global projects like “Green Fuels Hamburg” to take a decisive step forward in terms of fuel production. This is an excellent opportunity for Hamburg as a place for aviation to add stimulus in Sustainable Aviation Fuels.”
Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment, Climate, Energy and Agriculture, added: “Hamburg, as a modern metropolitan region and major industrial location in Germany, must do everything it can to protect people from the consequences of climate change. For the necessary transformation of the energy system, additional energy sources are needed for decarbonization in addition to direct electrification. In particular, green hydrogen and synthetic energy sources based on it will play a key role.
“Green hydrogen is an important building block for achieving the German and European climate targets and for supporting industry on the road to climate neutrality. Overall, Hamburg offers very good conditions for the “Green Fuels Hamburg” project to implement this future-oriented concept by Uniper SE, Siemens Energy, Sasol EcoFT and Airbus by 2026. Green fuels based on hydrogen will play a decisive role in the decarbonization of aviation and maritime shipping. Against this background, Hamburg is a particularly suitable location. This project will advance the transformation of Hamburg’s economy and thus contribute to achieving Hamburg’s climate targets. We therefore support the consortium and very much welcome that it is helping to move Hamburg forward on the path to a climate-neutral future.”
Project participants Dr Holger Kreetz, COO Asset Management at Uniper Kraftwerke GmbH said: “One of Uniper’s main goals is to effectively decarbonize other industries as well as its own, without neglecting security of supply. Hamburg as a location for innovation – with direct access to renewable energies as well as customers on the industrial and aviation side – is predestined for a pioneering role in power-to-liquid. With this partnership, we will be able to cover approx. 1/5 of the quantity of green PtL kerosene required in Germany in the initial phase. Green Fuels Hamburg will contribute significantly to decarbonization but also to security of supply.”
Stefano Innocenzi, Head of the New Energy Business Unit at Siemens Energy said: “Synthesized aviation fuels using green hydrogen and renewable energies are the key to sustainable flying. So far, however, green kerosene has not been available at quantity. This is precisely where we come in with “Green Fuels Hamburg”: Together with our partners, we are now working at full speed to bring e-kerosene to market on a large scale and to take a pioneering role in the decarbonization of aviation.”
Dr. Andre Walter, Head of Plant and Industrial Site Hamburg at Airbus Operations GmbH added: “For a climate-neutral future in aviation, three things are crucial from Airbus’ point of view: first, increasing the efficiency of our aircraft and modernizing the fleet; second, Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF); and third, hydrogen as an energy carrier. As is well known, green hydrogen is also needed for PtL kerosene, also known as eSAF. Green Fuels Hamburg will make an important contribution to the ramp-up of PtL production in Germany and could become a technology export hit! Airbus has been involved in the use and market development of SAF for several years. Most of our Beluga flights are operated from Hamburg with an 18% blend. In this respect, it is only logical that we are involved in a project in Hamburg and stand ready as a buyer of the PtL kerosene produced together with customers of Hamburg Airport.”
Will Löfberg, Vice President – International, Government and Environment Affairs at Emirates Airline noted: “Emirates is strongly supportive of this initiative to develop environmentally and economically sustainable power-to-liquid fuel. The launch of the “Green Fuels Hamburg” project is a major milestone towards scaling up the production of this type of sustainable aviation fuel, which has the potential to make a substantial contribution towards the aviation industry’s emissions reduction goals. We welcome Germany’s leadership in bringing together international expertise and investing in the technology to bring power-to-liquid fuel ultimately to the market.”
About Hamburg Aviation
Hamburg Aviation is the aviation industry cluster for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region – one of the world’s most important locations in the civil aviation industry. In total, more than 40,000 highly qualified specialists here are working on the future of aviation. Their core competencies cover the complete life cycle of an aircraft, from the design, manufacture and fitting out, to the global system of air transportation, maintenance, repair and overhaul, and finally to recycling. Put together, this makes Hamburg the third-biggest site in the civil aviation industry worldwide. The two giants of the industry, Airbus and Lufthansa Technik, are joined by Hamburg Airport and more than 300 small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as a variety of scientific and technological institutions. Every one of them contributes know-how and expertise. Companies, universities, associations, the economic authority and other partners have come together to form Hamburg Aviation, a cluster dedicated to advancing the city as an aviation location. Together they pursue a common goal: to network research and development, thereby bringing to market high-quality products and services for the aviation of the future – products that are good for passengers and set the standards in terms of resource protection. Hamburg Aviation concentrates on five product areas: the development and construction of aircraft and aircraft systems, the development and construction of cabins and cabin systems, the optimisation of aviation services, improving the efficiency of the air transportation system, and aviation-related information and communications technology. In 2008, Hamburg’s aviation cluster was honoured by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as a Leading-Edge Cluster. In 2014, Hamburg Aviation joined the elite ranks of clusters to hold the European Commission’s GOLD Label for Europe’s best managed clusters. The “Land of Ideas” initiative declared Hamburg Aviation one of Germany’s “100 Landmarks” in 2016. Success stories of the Hamburg Aviation cluster include the world’s most coveted prize in aircraft interiors, the Crystal Cabin Award, the long-term management of the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) and the Urban Air Mobility network Windrove.