NHV (Noordzee Helicopters Vlaanderen) is 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.
The first helicopter flight using sustainable aviation fuel took place at NHV’s headquarters at Ostend-Bruges airport. This flight was for an event organised by Belgian electric grid operator Elia. The NHV Airbus H145 helicopter registered OO-NSV left the Ostend base at 12:25 on Monday 3 October 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%. 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% of CO2 emissions over the entire life cycle, compared to its fossil fuel equivalent. Once produced, this renewable fraction is blended with up to 30% 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 refuelling operations.
Bram De Backer, Vice President of Offshore Wind at NHV Group 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.”
“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 refuelling in Belgium, and to make this approach part of a long–term collaboration with NHV.“