ARC NEWS
Shell to establish biofuels facility at Rotterdam
September 17, 2021
Shell will establish a biofuels facility at an existing refinery site in Rotterdam, which is scheduled to start production in 2024. The Dutch site will be among the largest biofuels facilities in Europe and produce 820,000t of low-carbon fuels per year using advanced technology developed by Shell, the energy provider says. Sustainable aviation fuel could make up more than half of the annual production capacity, Shell says. Shell Netherlands' president Director Marjan van Loon states: "The project will mean hundreds of millions of dollars of investment each year during construction, it will create hundreds of jobs and help to maintain the facility’s competitiveness for years to come." The new facility will help Shell to meet its own target of becoming a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, the company says. The facility is expected to use technology to capture carbon emissions from manufacturing processes and store them in an empty gas field beneath the North Sea through a project called Porthos. A final investment decision for Porthos is expected next year, Shell says. Shell notes that it is transforming refineries into five energy and chemicals parks as part of a plan to reduce production of traditional fuels 55% by 2030. The Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam is the second park to be announced, following the launch of a site in Germany in July.


Air New Zealand quantifies impact of travel restrictions
September 17, 2021
Air New Zealand estimates a monthly NZ$20-25 million ($14-18 million) impact from the suspension of trans-Tasman travel, and more from domestic travel restrictions. "Following a month of constrained trading it remains unclear how long these alert levels, the suspension of trans-Tasman quarantine-free travel and associated travel restrictions will continue, as well as how demand will recover when the restrictions are lifted," the flag carrier said today in a corporate disclosure. It puts the monthly impact of nationwide Level 3 or 4 travel restrictions at approximately N$45-55 million, and NZ$25-35 million if such restrictions were limited to Auckland while the rest of the country operates at Level 1 or 2. These estimates include the benefit of any wage subsidy. Government advisory as at 17 September shows Auckland is at Alert Level 4 and the rest of the country at Alert Level 2. New Zealand's four-level alert system indicates a lockdown at the highest Level 4, when Covid-19 is likely not contained, and restricted travel at Level 3, when there are active but managed clusters. Restrictions on social interactions are imposed at Levels 1 and 2, when Covid-19 is contained or there is low risk of community transmission, respectively. Air New Zealand is observing strong demand for domestic travel across regions currently under Level 2 restrictions, it says, while cargo operations are continuing with approximately 50 flights per week. At the last update, it began drawing down on a NZ$1.5 billion standby loan facility extended by the government, NZ$350 million as at 25 August. In today's disclosure, the company says it recently requested additional drawdowns and these will increase its total drawings to NZ$435 million.


​Ryanair launches Max training plan
September 16, 2021
Ryanair is embarking on a new training initiative under which the airline will onboard 5,000 new staff over five years in order to increase its capacity to 200 million passengers annually by 2025. A deal has been struck with the Airline Flight Academy as that company unveils a new €50 million ($59 million) training centre near Dublin, allowing Ryanair access to the facility's flight simulators, cabin crew emergency evacuation device, classroom training centres and pilot briefing rooms. As part of the deal, Ryanair will exclusively use the AFA for its cadet training. The airline is increasing its training bandwidth to ensure it has the pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground staff to match its planned capacity increase over the coming year, especially given its order for 210 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Deliveries began in June. "We have invested over €50m in this state-of-the-art training centre, and our agreement with AFA will deliver over 5,000 highly trained pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground operations professionals over the next five years," states Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson. "Ryanair will create over 5,000 new jobs thanks to the expansion of our Boeing 737 fleet, with 210 Max Gamechangers to be delivered over the next five years which will enable Ryanair to grow to carry 200m passengers per annum by 2025." He adds: "The AFA team have been a recruitment and training partner of Ryanair for many years, and we look forward to continuing to invest in this agreement, which has to date enabled Ryanair to recruit and train over 18,000 highly qualified aviation professionals.” Low-cost competitor Wizz Air in recent days announced its own intention to take on an additional 2,000 pilots over the next decade, as part of its plan to triple its fleet size over the period.


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