NHV Completes First Sustainable Aviation Flight in Offshore Wind Industry

Belgium’s NHV has become the first helicopter operator to carry out a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) flight in the offshore wind industry, in collaboration with partner TotalEnergies.

This project marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration between the two companies to support their commitment to the energy transition, NHV said.

The first helicopter flight using sustainable aviation fuel took place at NHV’s headquarters at Ostend.

This flight was for an event organised by Elia. The NHV helicopter left the Ostend base at 12.25 o’clock in the morning and flew a delegation of Elia and Belgian Politicians to Elia’s Modular Offshore Grid (MOG 1), a platform in the North Sea that bundles cables together from offshore wind farms and connects them to the mainland.

On this flight, the use of sustainable aviation fuel produced by TotalEnergies reduced C02 emissions by 27 per cent, NHV said.

”This is a huge milestone for NHV and the industry because it’s the first time sustainable aviation fuel is used to support Offshore Wind. Investing in this kind of fuel is the first step in reducing the overall carbon footprint and making helicopter transportation more environmentally friendly,” Bram De Backer, Vice President of Offshore Wind at NHV Group, said.

The sustainable aviation fuel supplied by TotalEnergies is produced in Europe and made from waste and residues from the circular economy, such as used cooking oils.

The renewable fraction reduces up to 90 per cent of CO2 emissions over the entire life cycle, compared to its fossil fuel equivalent, according to NHV.

Once produced, this renewable fraction is blended with up to 70 per cent of traditional fuel (JET A-1) to create sustainable aviation fuel, which has similar technical properties to JET A-1 and does not require any modifications to the aircraft, logistics, infrastructure, or refueling operations.

”The development of sustainable aviation fuel is one of the areas of TotalEnergies’ strategy to achieve its ambition of carbon neutrality by 2050 together with society,” said Joël Navaron, Aviation President at TotalEnergies.

”We are delighted with this collaboration with NHV, which allows us to achieve this important refueling in Belgium, and to make this approach part of a long-term collaboration with NHV.”

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