Joint venture plans to produce eSAF at scale by 2026

Senator Michael Westhagemann at the launch of Green Fuels Hamburg at ILA 2022

The decarbonization of aviation is a hot topic. In its "PtL-Roadmap”  the German government has mandated blending of 0.5% PtL-SAF to aviation fuel by 2026. To reach this, large quantities of sustainable fuels will be needed.  A consortium of Airbus, Uniper, Siemens Energy and Sasol ecoFT has announced the "Green Fuels Hamburg" project: an eSAF production plant in Hamburg to produce at least 10,000 tonnes annually. This is projected to cover up to 20% of the total SAF volume required in Germany by 2026.

It's a major step forward for Hamburg. As a world-leading centre of innovation and aviation, the city offers the best possible conditions for a commercial, industrial-scale project to produce synthetic fuels for aviation, or “Power-to-Liquid” kerosene (PtL), in Germany. The project consortium can count on Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) as a research partner and the full support of the Senate of Hamburg as well as Hamburg Airport. If all goes according to plan, Hamburg will be a first mover for PtL production in Germany.

Hamburg offers clear advantages as a location for this future-oriented decarbonization project:

  • Geographic vicinity of offshore wind farms in the North and Baltic Seas
  • One of Europe’s largest ports with energy-intensive industries
  • A world-class aviation cluster with Airbus as a global player for the development and use of PtL
  • Existing fuel processing and logistics facilities
  • A clear political commitment to the development of a hydrogen economy

The joint venture can cover the entire production chain for PtL production, from the generation of electricity from renewable sources, through electrolysis into green hydrogen and further processing by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis all the way through to delivery to the customer.

In technical terms, the heart of the green fuel production plant will be Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FT synthesis). This process produces liquid hydrocarbons, known as “Syncrude”, from hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Further processing steps are then used to produce fuels, in this case PtL kerosene. The green hydrogen used by “Green Fuels Hamburg” will come from the electrolysis of water using wind power. The carbon monoxide required will be produced in an upstream process stage using the reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction. In this process, carbon dioxide from wastewater treatment in Hamburg will be converted into carbon monoxide and water vapour using hydrogen.

The “Green Fuels Hamburg” project will meet all the relevant sustainability requirements and produce aviation fuel in accordance with the applicable specifications. You can find further information here: (German).