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Operators suggest palm oil as aviation fuel hits N1000/L

Stakeholders in the aviation sector said Nigeria is ripe enough to find alternatives for aviation fuel considering the high cost of importation. They made the…

Stakeholders in the aviation sector said Nigeria is ripe enough to find alternatives for aviation fuel considering the high cost of importation.

They made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at a consultative meeting on the development and deployment of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Low Carbon Available Fuel (LCAF) and other cleaner fuels in Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of Airline Operators of Nigeria, (AON), Capt. Roland Iyayi noted that Nigeria currently stands the better chance to drive alternative fuel for the aviation sector through the exploration of palm oil.

Daily Trust reports that aviation fuel also known as Jet A1 or aviation turbine fuel (ATF) currently used to power aircraft is kerosene in its most purified form.

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But operators said it is high time Nigeria explored alternatives given the sharp rise in the price of Jet A1 which sells at N1,000 per litre at the moment.

Iyayi said, “Airline operators have quietly been following developments in the sector, especially conversations on sustainable aviation fuel and it is a huge opportunity for Nigeria because the major component for sustainable aviation fuel is palm oil.

“The technology is currently being developed at a very high rate in UK and Nigeria has a comparative advantage because we already have the raw materials in abundance,”

He noted that aviation fuel constitutes 40 per cent operating cost for every airline and with the product at 1,000 per litre, it is no longer sustainable.

He added: “If the NNPC champions sustainable aviation fuel using palm oil, it will give Nigeria comparative advantage and the bigger picture is that the economy will grow and it will remove import dependency and create jobs. So, for the airline operators, we say there is a technology available and there is raw material available so we can use that as advantage to lead the world in alternative aviation fuel,”

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo said, “The collaboration is the only way to facilitate the development and deployment of aviation cleaner energies in Nigeria and ensure that the country is not left behind in aviation environmental protection initiatives.

“A number of technical analyses done revealed that Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) has the greatest potential to reduce CO2 emissions from International Aviation. This further underscores the importance of this consultative meeting to aviation. The step that is being taken here today, shows our commitment in meeting Nigeria’s pledge under the Paris Agreement, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Keyamo said.

Also speaking, the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu said, “Nigeria needs to come together and have a common national policy on aviation, because there will be conflict and responsibility overlap when different agencies work in isolation.”


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