A Pilatus PC-12 flying over a solar tower power plant. Image credit: Pilatus Flugzeugwerke

Pilatus and Synhelion join forces in the area of solar fuels

04 June 2024 12:03

Stans/Lugano - Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG and Synhelion have joined forces to scale solar fuels in the aviation sector. To this end, Pilatus has acquired a stake in Synhelion. In the medium term, Pilatus aims to offer sustainable solar fuels to its entire client base.

Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG and Synhelion are joining forces with the aim of scaling solar fuels. The aircraft manufacturer from Stans in the canton of Nidwalden in Switzerland has agreed a strategic partnership with the solar fuel pioneer based in Lugano in the canton of Ticino, also in Switzerland, further details of which can be found in a press release. Through this partnership, Pilatus acquired a stake in Synhelion, a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), in April. The precise level of shareholding was not disclosed in the press release.

Initially, Pilatus plans to use the fuel produced by Synhelion on the basis of its sun-to-liquid technology for its own fleet, although this should be extended to the entire customer fleet of Pilatus over the medium term. “Pilatus has been committed to sustainability and energy efficiency for many years, for example in our production processes and new buildings”, as Hansueli Loosli, Chairman of the Pilatus Board of Directors, explains in the press release. “We are firmly convinced that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will be an integral part of aviation’s future and we would like to make a further essential contribution”, he concludes.

According to the press release, Synhelion is currently building the world’s first industrial plant for the production of SAF on the basis of solar energy in Jülich, Germany. Another facility in Spain is set to follow next year. “We are extremely proud to have Pilatus, a leading manufacturer of turboprop and jet aircraft, as a partner and shareholder. Over the next few years, we will work together with full commitment to scale our solar fuels worldwide”, comments Philipp Furler, co-founder and co-CEO of Synhelion. ce/hs

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