November 2014 >

Garuda sets 2015 biofuel goal

By Tom Ballantyne 

Garuda Indonesia’s fleet will be using a biofuel mixture by 2015, according to the carrier’s director of operations, Capt. Novianto Herupratomo.

He said the ambitious plan was in line with wider government directives aimed at making major savings in carbon emissions across the aviation industry in the next few years.

The Ministry of Transport and its Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have instructed all airlines to achieve the same targets – 2% biofuel use by 2015 and 3% use by 2018-2020.

In addition, the Indonesian government is introducing measures to reduce emissions at airports across the country.

Although small amounts, it makes Indonesia one of the few nations in the world to lay down the law in terms of the specific amount of green fuels airlines have to use by a specific time.

The move has been hailed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Speaking at the International Green Aviation Conference in Nusa Dua, Bali, organized by Garuda and the DGCA, the head of the organization’s environmental unit, Jane Hupe, said the Jakarta government and its airlines were “leading the way” and were “an example to the rest of the world”. 

DGCA secretary, Arfiyanti Samad, told the conference the directorate had set up a task force to oversee the government’s roadmap, the Indonesia Green Aviation Initiative, to introduce wide-ranging environmental measures across the industry.

They include the replacement of the country’s airline fleet with new technology jets, improving air traffic management to reduce route lengths and to introduce other new efficiencies.

A “Green/Eco Airport” programme has been established to make facilities environmentally friendly, including the incorporation of renewable energy for power at airports, the planting of trees and the replacement of thousands of airport and runway lights with LED lighting.  

Between 2007 and mid-2013 around 15% of Indonesia’s fleet of aircraft has been replaced, which had saved an estimated 2.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

By 2017, another 15% of the domestic fleet and 5% of the international fleet are expected to be replaced.

For airlines, the only issue will be the availability of biofuels. Garuda’s Novianto said the initial target of 2% was only around 10 million litres annually. This accounts for only 1% of Garuda’s yearly fuel consumption for its fleet of 96 aircraft, but the fleet will increase to 144 by 2015. 

The vice-president of new venture business development at local state-owned oil company, Pertamina, Heru Setiawan, said at the conference he was confident there was an opportunity to produce suitable amounts of biofuel for the airline industry.

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