Amadeus has acquired a minority stake in CAPHENIA, a future producer of synthesis gas, the feedstock of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), as part of a wider commitment on behalf of Amadeus to support the industry on its journey toward sustainable travel.

The investment will offer Amadeus enhanced visibility into the challenges of the SAF sector, allowing the company to further explore the role it can play in this key element of the industry’s journey to net zero by 2050.

CAPHENIA, currently in an advanced stage of development, has established an innovative approach to produce synthesis gas from a mixture of biogas, CO2, water and electricity. This can be used to produce a variety of renewable fuels, with up to a 92% reduction of CO2 emissions compared to the fossil reference value. The company has secured patent protection for its Power-and-Biogas-to-Liquid (PBtL) process in all relevant core markets worldwide, with a total of 203 granted patents.

Sustainable aviation fuel production

Dr. Mark Misselhorn, Chief Executive of CAPHENIA, said, “Our process is affordable – using one sixth of the electricity needed for alternative SAF production methods – and scalable. We have an ambition to offer large scale production by 2028, aiming to fill the gap between anticipated SAF demand and current supply.

“For airlines, sustainable aviation fuel is the practical long-term alternative to conventional aviation fuel. The technology of cost-effective, producible SAF means the greatest potential for CO2 savings and an important element that, in combination with others, may help in meeting net zero targets.”

Fuel production falling short

According to the IATA Net Zero Emission initiative, SAF has the potential to account for 65% of the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions required for the aviation industry to reach net zero by 2050.

However, to reach the 65% reduction, an estimated production capacity of 449 billion litres annually is needed globally. SAF production in 2021 stood at just 125 million litres – or less than 0.1% of the required estimated production capacity. CAPHENIA plans to commence production next year and is forecasting to produce 10 million litres of SAF by 2027, increasing to over 100 million litres by 2030 and over one billion litres before 2035.

Suzanna Chiu, Head of Ventures, Amadeus, said, “At Amadeus, we are committed to supporting the move to sustainable travel. We monitor industry trends and developments to determine the most effective ways we can fulfil this ambition and are delighted to act today with the investment in an innovative SAF company. The transaction represents a step forward in our sustainability strategy, taking the perspective from a different part of the value chain in the industry. As the industry moves toward its goal of reaching net zero by 2050, we are taking concrete steps to accelerate the process.”
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