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Qair and Airbus partner to boost sustainable aviation fuels in France

Qair and Airbus have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to jointly structure the sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) sector in the French Occitanie region.

The partnership aims at identifying commercial opportunities and share techno-economic data to develop a sustainable aviation fuel (e-SAF) production facility. These interactions will enable Qair, a unifying force in the e-SAF value chain, to contribute to the deployment of a hydrogen infrastructure for aviation and the development of a true ecosystem for sustainable aviation fuels, especially in Occitanie.

A project in development

At the signing ceremony, the partners commit to collaborate in the development on the development of an e-SAF production facility. The Occitanie Regional Energy and Climate Agency (AREC Occitanie) is also interested in this major industrial project for the region, and partnership discussions are underway.

Rolling out the Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft

Identified as one of the most promising options for decarbonizing the aerospace sector, hydrogen has the advantage of being used either directly for propulsion and onboard energy production or indirectly to create synthetic fuels.

In this protocol, Qair and Airbus will collaborate on developing a regional e-SAF ecosystem as a first step before expanding to nationwide projects for renewable hydrogen production and e-fuel. The collaboration covers various aspects of the hydrogen and e-SAF supply chain, from production to airport delivery.

Olivier Astruc, Qair's Director of Hydrogen in France, said: “We are pleased to begin these discussions with Airbus, with whom we share a common ambition to decarbonize the aerospace industry. To achieve this, Qair is betting on renewable hydrogen and the development of electrolyzers throughout France, starting with the Occitanie region, where we will soon build a dedicated e-SAF project and where we are already constructing our first renewable hydrogen production unit, Hyd’Occ.”  

In addition, Karine Guenan, Vice-President of ZEROe Hydrogen Ecosystem at Airbus, said: “This collaboration follows the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) declaration in Occitanie ICEO signed by Airbus with the state and the Occitanie region in January 2023, aiming to be twice as ambitious as the European mandate on SAF. The Qair project should help develop the sector and meet the needs of stakeholders in the region.”


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