SEOUL, June 29 (Korea Bizwire) — GS Caltex Corp. and Korean Air Co. joined hands to carry out test flights using bio jet fuel, the companies said Thursday, in the latest step in the green energy transition toward a reduced carbon footprint.
The two companies signed the memorandum of understanding, under which the oil refiner will supply biofuel, known as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), to the flag carrier on select international flights departing from Incheon, west of Seoul, the main gateway to South Korea, they said in press releases.
The test flights will take place over a six-month period starting in the second half of 2023.
The partnership is part of joining the government’s initiative to boost the supply of biofuels.
Based on the test outcomes, the South Korean government plans to draw up guidelines for domestic SAF use and set quality standards prior to full-scale domestic production.
SAF, unlike nonrenewable fossil fuels, is produced with animal or vegetable oils, algae and solid waste. It can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80 percent compared with conventional fossil jet fuel.
The European Union is mandating that airlines refueling in its territory use a minimum 2 percent SAF blend from 2025.
Many countries, including the United States, are adopting various policies, such as tax incentives, to expand SAF production.
The net-zero mission for international flight operations has also been pushed for by the International Civil Aviation Organization, advising states commit to the goal of reaching net-zero by 2050.