Montpellier and Toulouse, January 25, 2024 – Qair, an independent renewable energy company, and Airbus, a global leader in aerospace, announce today 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
The partners commit to collaborating 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.
“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,” says Olivier Astruc, France Director of Hydrogen at Qair.
“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,” says Karine Guenan, Vice-President ZEROe Hydrogen Ecosystem at Airbus.
Qair is an independent renewable energy company developing, financing, building, and operating solar, onshore and offshore wind, hydroelectric, tidal energy, energy from waste, renewable hydrogen production and storage projects.
With more than 1 GW of capacity in operation, the group’s 600 employees are developing a portfolio pipeline of 30 GW in 20 countries across Europe, Latin America and Africa. Our ambition is to become an independent leader in responsible energy.
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