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EU planning sustainable fuel target to cut airline emissions

December 18/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Commission is drawing up targets for airlines to use a minimum share of sustainable fuels, it said last Wednesday, after dropping a draft 5% goal that it deemed too low, reported Reuters.

The pledge came as the EU executive outlined measures to tackle transport's climate impact, including a goal previously reported by Reuters to have 30 million zero-emission vehicles on Europe's roads by 2030.

A late draft had included the 5% share of low-carbon fuels to be reached by airlines in 2030, rising to above 60% in 2050. Both targets were cut from the published version.

EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said the Commission now intended to set higher goals for sustainable aviation fuel.

"We will come out with an ambitious proposal later, because we thought we could do better than what was written in the initial draft," Timmermans said.

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), which can be produced from biomass or renewable energy, currently account for less than 1% of Europe's jet fuel consumption.

Their uptake has been stunted by high costs and weak demand from airlines, which have traditionally opposed mandated quotas. The industry's position is, however, evolving amid increasing scrutiny of its environmental impact.

"The EU proposal for a SAF mandate could, under certain conditions, be a positive development in providing a degree of certainty to the market and driving production," said Michael Gill, head of ATAG, a global aviation sector lobby group.

Those conditions include policy support for SAF development and avoiding anti-competitive effects, Gill said.

Finland, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden are among European states already considering their own binding targets.

The EU plan would also seek to make transport services carbon-neutral for journeys under 500 kms (310 miles), encouraging a shift from air to rail.

Campaigners such as clean energy group Transport and Environment urged the EU to promote hydrogen produced with renewable energy over biofuels that can worsen deforestation.

Brussels also wants zero-emission large aircraft to be market-ready by 2035, a deadline Airbus has set itself to put a carbon-free plane into service.

As MRC informed before, ExxonMobil said in mid-December it plans further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years to support the goals of the Paris Agreement and anticipates meeting year-end 2020 reductions. ExxonMobil plans to reduce the intensity of operated upstream greenhouse gas emissions by 15% to 20% by 2025, compared to 2016 levels. This will be supported by a 40% to 50% decrease in methane intensity, and a 35% to 45% decrease in flaring intensity across its global operations. The emission reduction plans, which cover Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from operated assets, are projected to be consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The company also plans to align with the World Banks initiative to eliminate routine flaring by 2030.

We remind that ExxonMobil underttook a planned shutdown at its cracker in Singapore. The company halted operations at the cracker for maintenance on September 14, 2020. The cracker was expected to remain off-line till end-October, 2020. Located at Jurong Island, Singapore, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 1 million mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,760,950 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, up by 3% year on year. Only high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 978,870 tonnes in  January-October 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports minus producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, sustainable development, Russia, Singapore, USA.
Category:General News
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