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Business News of Sunday, 22 October 2023


'It's cheaper' - Air Peace, Max Air, others suggest palm oil as aviation fuel cost hits N1000/L

File photo to illustrate the story File photo to illustrate the story

Airline operators have said Nigeria is mature enough to find alternatives for aviation fuel, also known as JetAI, considering the high cost of imports.

The operators called on the Nigerian government Wednesday, October 18, 2023, in Abuja at a meeting on developing and using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Low Carbon Available Fuel, and other transparent fuel sources in Nigeria.

Captain Roland Iyayi, who spoke on behalf of Airline Operators of Nigeria, said the country is in a better place to drive alternative fuel sources for the aviation industry by exploring palm oil.

Aviation fuel is kerosene in its most purified form. A Daily Trust report said that aviation operators are calling for alternative sources due to the sharp increase in the product's price, currently selling at N1000 per litre.

Iyayi revealed that operators in the industry are keenly following trends in the industry, especially talks around sustainable aviation fuel and its vast opportunity for Nigeria, as the main component of sustainable aviation fuel is palm oil. Iyayi said:

"The technology is currently being developed at a very high rate in the UK, and Nigeria has a comparative advantage because we already have the raw materials in abundance,"

Iyayi, also the CEO of Topbrass Aviation Limited, stated that fuel constitutes 40% of operating costs for every airline, and with the product selling at N1000 per litre, airlines can longer cope.

He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) should champion sustainable fuel and provide a bigger picture that the economy can grow by providing a comparative advantage.

The Topbrass Aviation Limited boss said there is available technology and raw material that Nigeria can exploit and lead the world in alternative aviation fuel.

Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, said the partnership is the only way to allow the development and use of cleaner energy in the aviation industry.

"Several technical analyses revealed that Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) has the greatest potential to reduce CO2 emissions from International Aviation," Keyamo said.

Cost-effective aviation fuel has recently been on the front burner for airlines in Nigeria, with the airlines stating that they subsidize passengers to keep the industry functioning.

They state that the unavailability of foreign exchange has made the importation of aviation fuel challenging.

Recently, Nigeria reported a case of contaminated fuel in the industry.