Plan to bring clean flight technology to Jersey
From Jersey Airport
7th September 2022
Ports of Jersey, Blue Islands Limited and Universal Hydrogen Co. today announced a collaboration to transform aviation in the Channel Islands with clean hydrogen.
Universal Hydrogen and Blue Islands Limited have signed a letter of intent outlining a plan to employ Universal Hydrogen’s aircraft conversion kits and cement Blue Islands’ leadership in progressing responsible, affordable, and safe aviation in the European regional market. The agreement, which is subject to certification, technical and commercial conditions, includes the intent to purchase five of Universal Hydrogen’s ATR 72 conversion kits for Blue Islands’ aircraft fleet, as well as Universal Hydrogen’s fuel services to supply hydrogen using modular capsules, without the need for changes to existing airport infrastructure.
“We have started our journey towards zero emissions,” said Rob Veron, the CEO of Blue Islands. “The first stage being 100% offset, through partnership with Durrell’s Rewild Carbon program. The next step is to explore next generation power and propulsion. This agreement ensures that we are part of that conversation with Universal Hydrogen, together with our base airport partners, Ports of Jersey. We’re committed to responsibly connecting our Islands and ensuring that we remain focused on, and committed to, a sustainable future. Hydrogen-powered flights are a possibility. There remain steps to take, but we want to be part of the journey towards truly sustainable aviation.”
“Airline connectivity for many regions like the Channel Islands is essential for its communities and economy,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen. “Universal Hydrogen is able to provide a true zero solution for Blue Islands’ services as early as 2025, and Jersey is already very well-positioned with a large part of its electricity grid being supplied by clean energy.”
In a complementary agreement, Universal Hydrogen and Port of Jersey have agreed to work together to support Blue Islands’ operations, including hydrogen provision, airport ground handling and storage, operating procedures, and supporting regulatory requirements. The parties will collaborate on sourcing hydrogen, with Universal Hydrogen taking the lead on supply and delivery logistics. The collaboration will stimulate demand for hydrogen in Jersey and ensure that new hydrogen infrastructure is not a barrier to decarbonising aviation, as well as the other transportation applications that Ports of Jersey supports.
“Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges of our times and, for anyone involved in the travel industry, the conversation is not an easy one,” said Matt Thomas, CEO of Ports of Jersey. “Every airport has a hugely important role to play, and we will play ours. As part of our ‘Ports Planet and People Plan’ that we shared earlier this year, we are committed to meaningful action that makes a difference, and we are making really encouraging progress. Coming together with industry partners, Government and our customers, we can have a much bigger impact. The speed of the innovation needed to achieve zero emission flights is incredible and it is gathering pace. This partnership aligns perfectly with our objectives and our commitment to ensure that Jersey plays its part in the decarbonisation of aviation.”
Deputy Kirsten Morel, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, added: “I am pleased that Jersey is taking a leading position in sustainable air travel within Europe, thanks to this partnership between the Government, Ports of Jersey, and Blue Islands. It demonstrates our ability to collaborate and innovate for the benefit of Islanders and the planet.”