Brussels Airlines, the flag carrier of Belgium and part of the Lufthansa Group, has started the new year by being the first airline receiving a delivery of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel at Brussels Airport for the first time using the NATO Central European Pipeline System (CEPS).
The Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS) is the largest petroleum pipeline system in NATO and and crosses the host nations of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. The CEPS can quickly provide military commanders with fuel for aircraft and ground vehicles. The CEPS also delivers jet fuel to major civil airports such as Brussels, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Schiphol and Zurich.
The CEPS comprises some 5,300 km of pipeline with diameters ranging from 6 to 12 inches. This network of pipelines links 29 NATO depots and six depots for non-military use (offering a total storage capacity of 1.2 million cubic metres), military and civil airfields, refineries, civil depots and sea ports situated in the host nations.
Aviation fuel is supplied by CEPS to commercial airports in Europe, and from 1 January 2023 these airports can also receive sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) via the pipeline system. CEPS is one element of the larger Nato Pipeline System (MPS), a 10,000-km network comprising 10 distinct storage and distribution systems for fuels and lubricants – 8 national systems and 2 multinational systems, the latter including CEPS.
The first batch of Neste’s SAF for Brussels Airlines was loaded into the pipeline system as a ready-to-use blend with conventional jet fuel at Neste’s blending facilities in Ghent, Belgium at the turn of the year. From there, the fuel was transported by Brussels Airlines via the pipeline to the general fuel storage at Brussels Airport, making SAF available for use by Brussels Airlines.
Brussels Airlines aims to emit 50% less CO2 by 2030 compared to 2019, to become carbon neutral by 2050, and to operate its first flight using SAF by 2023. The delivery of Neste’s SAF via the CEPS pipeline contributes to Brussels Airlines’ sustainability goals by enabling the airline to operate its first flight using SAF already at the start of 2023.
Using Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle compared to using fossil jet fuel. Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is produced from sustainably sourced, 100% renewable waste and residue raw materials, including used cooking oil and animal fat waste. SAF is blended with conventional jet fuel and works seamlessly with existing fueling infrastructure and aircraft engines.