SEA-TAC Moves Closer to Funding Aviation Biofuels

Making biofuel available, cost-effective and practical for all airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Seattle, July 19, 2017: Carbon reduction leaders Carbon War Room (CWR) and SkyNRG join with the Port of Seattle to announce recommendations for long-term funding mechanisms that could supply all airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) with sustainable aviation biofuels.

The results are outlined in a study that reviews a broad spectrum of airport funding sources to cover the higher cost of biofuel, as well as biofuel supply chain infrastructure investments. The study, published today, was conducted by CWR and SkyNRG, in partnership with the Port.

“The information contained in this study will help us take the next steps toward our goal of making biofuel available, cost-effective and practical for all airlines at Sea-Tac,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “It wouldn’t have been possible to get to this point without the momentum provided by our partners, industry leaders and community innovators.”

The two biggest challenges facing broader adoption of sustainable aviation fuel at Sea-Tac are the higher cost compared with petroleum jet fuel, and the constraints imposed by state and federal regulations on use of airport funds.
The report, titled ‘Innovative Funding for Sustainable Aviation Fuel at U.S. Airports: Explored at Seattle-Tacoma International’, reveals the financial tools available to U.S. airports, and outlines legal constraints and financial impacts of each tool. The report found that no single tool could generate enough funding to cover the higher cost of biofuel, and recommended combining a number of funding tools.

“Until we reach fossil-price parity, we need co-funding mechanism to close the price gap between conventional jet fuel and sustainable aviation biofuels. Sea-Tac demonstrates that airports can play a key role in helping find the right partners to cover the premium and accelerate the transition to secure a sustainable future for the aviation industry,” said Theye Veen, Chief Financial Officer of SkyNRG.

“We congratulate Sea-Tac on its leadership in showing that airport authorities are critical to the success of the aviation biofuel industry,” said Adam Klauber, Director of CWR’s Sustainable Aviation program. “We’ve proven that there are viable funding mechanisms for the widespread uptake of sustainable aviation fuel at Sea-Tac, and we hope that the study provides tools and ideas for other ambitious airports to consider in their sustainability initiatives.”

AltAir Fuels, based in California, is regularly producing aviation biofuels.  The Port, as an economic development engine, is seeking ways to help grow the market.  This initiative is one solution in the Port’s quest to find sustainable solutions that improve the health of our environment and community.  Other Port successes include emissions reduction achieved by providing pre-heated and cooled air to aircraft parked at gates, use of electric ground support equipment, and conversion to green vehicles.

For further information, please download the report here.

About Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: Operated by the Port of Seattle, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA, KSEA) is ranked as the ninth busiest U.S. airport, serving nearly 45.7 million passengers and more than 366,000 metric tons of air cargo in 2016. With a regional economic impact of more than $16.3 billion in business revenue, Sea-Tac generates 171,796 jobs (109,924 direct jobs) representing over $2.8 billion in direct earnings and more than $565 million in state and local taxes. Twenty-four airlines serve 81 non-stop domestic and 24 international destinations.

About Carbon War Room: Carbon War Room (CWR) was founded in 2009 as a global nonprofit organization by Sir Richard Branson and a group of like-minded entrepreneurs. It intervenes in markets to accelerate the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions at gigaton scale. In 2014, CWR merged with and now operates as part of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). RMI engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

About SkyNRG: SkyNRG is the global market leader for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), having supplied over 25 airlines on all continents worldwide. SkyNRG sources, blends and distributes SAF, guarantees sustainability throughout the supply chain and helps to co-fund the premium. At the same time, SkyNRG focuses on developing regional supply chains that offer a real sustainable and affordable alternative to fossil fuels. SkyNRG has its operations RSB certified and is structurally advised by an independent Sustainability Board in which WWF International, European Climate Foundation, University of Groningen and Solidaridad Network hold a seat.

SEA-TAC

Airbus A330 of Thomas Cook Airlines taking-off at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on the way to Manchester. Photo: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Source: Port of Seattle

NASA: Prototype Air Traffic Tool Ready for Airborne Workout

sustainable aviation

New sustainable ‘Flight Deck Interval Management’ system to save fuel, flight time and money

 

Seattle, February 2, 2017: In a series of flights called Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration-1  (ATD-1), NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is testing airborne flight deck interval management software with the help of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and leading aviation partners.

The month-long campaign involves three planes: a Boeing 757 and a business jet – either a Dassault Falcon 900 or an Embraer 170 – supplied by Honeywell, and a Boeing 737 provided by United Airlines. The aircraft are based at King County International and Seattle-Tacoma International Airports in Seattle, but the flight test will take place about 120 miles east, over Grant County International Airport.

After years of research and laboratory work, a full airborne demonstration of new technology and procedures aimed at improving air traffic flow into busy airports is on schedule to take off this month over Washington State.

The system is called Flight Deck Interval Management, or FIM, and its key benefit is that it will help air traffic controllers and pilots more precisely manage and safely shorten the time, or interval, between airplanes landing on a runway.

“All the pilots that are going to be flying the FIM operations have gone through the training modules and simulations. The equipment is all set and we’re ready to go,” said Sheri Brown, ATD-1 project manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia.

The research is intended to help airplanes spend less time in the air, save money on fuel, and reduce engine emissions – all the while improving schedule efficiency to help passengers arrive at their destination on time and avoid missing connecting flights.

FIM is the final piece of a suite of aircraft arrival technology developed under the ATD-1-program. Two other NASA-developed technologies from ATD-1 – Traffic Management Advisor with Terminal Metering and Controller Managed Spacing – together were already  delivered to the FAA in 2014 as a single tool known as Terminal Sequencing and Spacing (TSAS).

Information provided to air traffic controllers from TSAS will be combined with NASA-developed software that is at the heart of FIM. The result is guidance that directs pilots to fly at a certain speed and maintain a more precise spacing with an aircraft flying ahead of them all the way down to the runway.

“It’s a very simple ‘follow the leader’ operation that is easy to execute by the flight crew,” Sheri Brown said. During the course of the flight tests, researchers hope to complete some 80 runs involving three major flight scenarios:

  • flying at a cruise altitude of 35,000 feet,
  • descending from cruise altitude all the way down to the airport, and
  • making a final approach beginning about 15 minutes before touchdown.

The plan is to fly about five-and-a-half hours each weekday, testing up to five test scenarios during each daily sortie. The Honeywell 757 and United 737 will be equipped with the FIM system in its cockpits, where its pilots will “follow the leader” during test runs behind the Honeywell business jet, which will provide its speed and position information to the other aircraft.

sustainable aviation

(l to r) Jason McMahon, Helmuth Eggeling and Scott Nyberg — lead test pilots from Honeywell Aerospace’s Flight Ops engineering organization – take part in final checkouts of the ATD-1 technologies and flight plans.
Credits: NASA / David C. Bowman

If all goes well with the demonstration, the entire FIM system – including software and hardware – will be turned over to the FAA by the fall of 2017, where the FAA will continue to evaluate and test it before making a decision to certify its use.

Source: NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate / Jim Banke, Lillian Gipson

IATA: Another Strong Year for Air Travel Demand in 2016 

sustainable aviation

Average load factor reached full-year record high of 80.5%

Geneva, February 2, 2017:  The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced full-year global passenger traffic results for 2016 showing demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 6.3% compared to 2015 (or 6.0% if adjusted for the leap year). This strong performance was well ahead of the ten-year average annual growth rate of 5.5%. Capacity rose 6.2% (unadjusted) compared to 2015, pushing the load factor up 0.1 percentage points to a record full-year average high of 80.5%.

A particularly strong performance was reported for December with an 8.8% rise in demand outstripping 6.6% capacity growth.

“Air travel was a good news story in 2016. Connectivity increased with the establishment of more than 700 new routes. And a $44 fall in average return fares helped to make air travel even more accessible. As a result, a record 3.7 billion passengers flew safely to their destination. Demand for air travel is still expanding. The challenge for governments is to work with the industry to meet that demand with infrastructure that can accommodate the growth, regulation that facilitates growth and taxes that don’t choke growth. If we can achieve that, there is plenty of potential for a safe, secure and sustainable aviation industry to create more jobs and increase prosperity,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Total passenger traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of RPK are: Asia-Pacific 32.9%, Europe 26.4%, North America 23.6%, Middle East 9.6%, Latin America 5.2%, and Africa 2.2%.​ IATA represents some 265 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.

sustainable aviation

2016 was another strong year for air travel. Frankfurt was once again among the most international airports of the world
Photo: Fraport

Source: IATA

ATR and Sweden’s BRA Perform First ATR Biofuel Flight 

sustainable aviation

Biofuels from different types of wood could make domestic air traffic in Sweden completely fossil-free

Stockholm, February 1, 2017: An ATR 72-600 of the Swedish carrier BRA (former Braathens Regional) took off from Stockholm-Bromma today to Umeå fueled at 45% with fossil-free used cooking oil, marking the first biofuel-powered flight of an ATR aircraft.

BRA provides an essential air service to link their main hub of Stockholm-Bromma to twelve Swedish regions. The ATRs of BRA provide an unrivaled performance advantage in months with adverse weather conditions. The airline is particularly committed to environmental preservation and has already started replacing their Saab 2000s with modern ATR 72-600s, recognized as the most fuel-efficient aircraft on the regional market.

Several research and development initiatives are currently underway in Sweden to produce biofuels from different types of wood. In Sweden, forests cover more than 50% of the country, and grow at a rate of 120 million cubic meters annually. Making domestic air traffic in Sweden completely fossil-free would require less than 2% of the total annual forest growth.

Thanks to its lighter structure, optimized speed and engines designed for short routes, ATR aircraft already demonstrate the best environmental performance in its segment. Nonetheless, ATR continues to invest in virtuous technologies and contributes to European research and development efforts to take advances in environmental performance even further. ATR encourages the use of alternative fuels and offers support to customers and local governments in developing a comprehensive business plan, from fuel selection to routing, certification and availability for seamless airline operations.

Christian Clemens, Chief Executive Officer of BRA, said: “Sweden is currently debating a new tax on aviation. It will have a minimal impact on emissions, and will unfortunately slow down the pace in which we can continue to make aviation more sustainable. The ATR 72-600, especially if powered by biofuel, is the optimal transportation on many of our routes and features the highest standards of environmental care.”

Christian Scherer, CEO of ATR, declared: “Today’s challenge is to get a large-scale production of biofuels at affordable costs while avoiding a negative impact on the environment. Swedish airlines like BRA can take advantage of the massive expansion of its forests, along with the operation of fuel-efficient turboprops, to reach the ambitious goal of halving their CO2 emissions by 2025.”

sustainable aviation

An ATR 72-600 of the Swedish carrier BRA fueled at 45% with fossil-free used cooking oil

BRA’s operating hub is Stockholm-Bromma Airport, the airport nearest downtown Stockholm. The airline carries a third of the domestic passengers in Sweden.

Source: ATR

United Airlines Honored as ‘Eco-Airline of the Year’

sustainable aviation with IASA

Highest recognition from ‘Air Transport World’ magazine for its leadership in environmental action

Chicago, January 24, 2017: For the second time since launching its industry-leading Eco-Skies program, United Airlines was named the Eco-Airline of the Year by Air Transport World (ATW) magazine. The award recognizes an airline in global commercial aviation for its environmental leadership as demonstrated by consistent and impactful environmental action within the company and in the industry. The magazine awarded United with the top honor for multiple initiatives in 2016 and prior years, including becoming the first U.S. airline to begin using commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights, marking a significant milestone in the industry by moving beyond demonstrations and test programs to the use of low-carbon biofuels for ongoing operations.

“Innovation and sustainability are twin engines that drive our progress as the most environmentally conscious airline in the world,” said Oscar Munoz, United’s chief executive officer. “From pioneering investments in biofuels to increasing efficiency and reducing waste to supporting a single global market based measure for carbon emissions, United is committed to innovating solutions that we hope will become the expectation for our industry, not the exception. And while we take great pride in this important recognition for our efforts, the measure of our success is the opinion of our children and grandchildren who will look back on our efforts and say that we lived up to our obligations to them in protecting the planet for future generations.”

United’s Eco-Skies program represents the company’s commitment to the environment and the actions taken every day to create a sustainable future. In addition to incorporating sustainable biofuel into its operations at Los Angeles International Airport, United’s recent environmental achievements include:

  • Investing $30 million in U.S.-based alternative aviation fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., which represented the single largest investment by any airline globally in alternative fuels.
  • Becoming the first U.S. airline to repurpose items from the carrier’s international premium cabin amenity kits and partnering with Clean the World to donate hygiene products to those in critical need.
  • Partnering with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to demonstrate the potential benefits of new satellite-based technology for instrument landings that enable aircraft to use fuel more efficiently on arrival and land at normal rates in challenging weather.
  • Continuing to replace its eligible ground equipment and service vehicles with cleaner, electrically powered alternatives, with 47 percent of the fleet converted to date.
  • Becoming the first airline to fly with Boeing’s Split Scimitar winglets, which reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent; United is the largest Split Scimitar winglet customer today.
  • Being the only U.S.-based airline named to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s “Leadership” category for its environmental disclosure, with an A- Climate score in 2016.
  • Sourcing illy coffee’s internationally certified supply chain of farmers who earn above-market prices in exchange for meeting quality and sustainability standards for the finest coffee.
  • Offering Eco-Skies CarbonChoice, the airline industry’s only integrated carbon offset program for corporate business travel and cargo shipments.

Additionally, as part of United’s commitment to operating an environmentally friendly and responsible airline, the carrier added a carbon footprint measurement to its 2017 Global Performance Commitment. United is committing to achieving a lower gross carbon footprint than its two largest U.S.-based competitors this year, as measured by carbon dioxide-equivalent per available seat-mile. If United does not meet the goals of its 2017 Global Performance Commitment, the airline will compensate eligible corporate accounts.

sustainable aviation with IASA

Equipped with new LEAP-1B engines from CFM International and improvements such as the Advanced Technology Winglet, the 737MAX reduces fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 13 percent

For more information on United’s Eco-Skies commitment to the environment, visit www.united.com/ecoskies.

Source: United Airlines

Neste’s Customers Reduced their GHG-Emissions by 6.4 Million Tons in 2015

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Neste included on the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies for the 11th consecutive time

Keilaranta, Finland, January 18, 2017: Neste reached the Global 100 list of the world’s top 100 most sustainable companies for the 11th consecutive time. This year Neste improved its ranking from the 39th to 23rd place, and was considered the best performing company within the Oil and Gas Industry. The company has been included on this valued list continuously for longer than any other energy company in the world.

“Sustainability is a central component of our strategy and business. We consider our ranking within the Global 100 list as a an important recognition of our company’s progress in many areas,” says Neste’s Pekka Tuovinen, Senior Advisor, Sustainability. Recently the Finish company reached several sustainability milestones:

  • Neste increased the share of waste and residues to nearly 80 percent of all the renewable raw materials used in the refining of renewable products.
  • Neste’s customers were able to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 6.4 million tons in 2015, corresponding to annual greenhouse gas emissions of 2.3 million cars.
  • Neste advanced its comprehensive human and labor rights program, conducted a company-wide human rights risk assessment, and focused on improving the situation of migrant workers within palm oil supplying countries.
  • Neste explored deforestation risks within its supply chain more widely than before and increased the transparency of its supply chain by publishing a comprehensive list of palm oil suppliers on its website.

“The sustainability performance of the world’s leading companies improve every year. That is why making the list becomes more challenging each year. One-third of the companies on this year’s list were different from last year. We will continue our determined work together with our stakeholders to continuously improve the sustainability of our operations and ensure that we will be worthy of similar recognitions in the coming years,” Tuovinen continues.

Source: Neste Corporation

SkyNRG, Fly Green Fund and Swedavia Enable Sustainable Aviation Fuel Flights from Stockholm

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Growing the sustainable aviation market in the Nordics

Stockholm, Arlanda Airport, January 3, 2017:  Just before New Year’s Eve, Swedavia received its first sustainable aviation fuel at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. It marks the start of deliveries of sustainable aviation fuel through the Fly Green Fund and demonstrates Swedavia’s commitment to sustainable aviation. The fuel is supplied by SkyNRG together with AirBP.

Fly Green Fund

Fly Green Fund is the first of its kind in the world and enables organizations and individuals in the Nordics to reduce their carbon footprint, by flying on sustainable aviation fuel. Swedavia joined Fly Green Fund as launching partner two years ago and also became a corporate customer of Fly Green Fund. Swedavia is the first corporate in the world buying sustainable aviation fuel for all their business flights through Fly Green Fund. “We at Swedavia want to lead the way and help increase the demand for aviation biofuel,” says Lena Wennberg, Director Environment for Swedavia.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel

“It is a milestone in many ways for Fly Green Fund and our partners today. By buying sustainable aviation fuel for their staff flights, Swedavia reduces its own carbon foot print and contributes to developing a sustainable future for aviation.  Other corporate customers like Löfbergs, Resia and our Swish-customers have contributed as well. We are grateful to everyone that has been part of this. It is a real joint effort and shows that together we can grow the sustainable aviation market in the Nordics. We have set an example for others to follow,” says Maria Fiskerud, Managing Director for Fly Green Fund.

SkyNRG organized the sustainable aviation fuel deliveries to Arlanda Airport for Fly Green Fund, in which now also SAS, KLM and EFS are partners.  The sustainable aviation fuel is produced by bio refinery AltAir Fuels in the US and supplied by SkyNRG and AirBP via the common fuel infrastructure running to and at the airport.

“It is great to see that so much is happening in the Nordics. After founding the Fly Green Fund two years ago and after a lot of ground work, this is a huge result thanks to Swedavia. It is a good example that airports are perfectly positioned to support the development of sustainable aviation fuels,” says Theye Veen, CFO for SkyNRG.

For further information please visit: www.skynrg.comwww.flygreenfund.se,www.swedavia.se

Source: SkyNRG

Neste Wins Industry Leader Biofuels Award

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Global Energy Awards: Neste Wins Industry Leader Biofuels Award 2016 

Keilaranta, Finland, December 22, 2016: Neste was selected as the leading biofueloperator at the 2016 Global Energy Awards. The company came first in the Industry Leader Award Biofuels category in the competition arranged by S&P Platts, a provider of market information and research in the energy sector.

In the Industry Leader Award Biofuels category, all finalists were innovative actors developing sustainable biofuel solutions. The panel of judges was impressed by NEXBTL technology, which enables the production of top-quality renewable diesel and other renewable products from nearly any waste fat or vegetable oil through a hydrogen-based treatment. The panel was also particularly inspired by the company’s plans to start production of renewable propane at its Rotterdam refinery by the end of 2016. In this category, the winner was picked from a total of seven finalists.

Neste won praise for its commitment to sustainability and for its continuous search for new solutions so that it can develop its operations. The company’s plans to increase biodiesel production capacity beyond the current annual volume of two million tons were characterized by the judges as a pioneering venture, and the panel estimated that this will have an impact on global energy markets now and in the future.

Source: Neste Corporation

Heathrow reveals team that will design the airport’s sustainable expansion 

Heathrow, December 1, 2016: Seven companies have been contracted by Heathrow to design plans for the airport’s sustainable expansion. They will help deliver one of the most leading-edge airport operations in the world.

The selected group of Companies – Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Atkins, Grimshaw, Mott MacDonald, Jacobs and Quod – will now be known as the Integrated Design Team (IDT).

The seven organizations were chosen because of their experience in delivering projects of similar size, breadth and importance as an expanded Heathrow. Their appointment followed competitive selection processes and a thorough commercial review. The teams have each been awarded 4 year term contracts, commencing November 2016.

Each supplier is a world leader within their field and have unique insights into how to build Heathrow sustainably and affordably:

Amec Foster Wheeler will continue to assist Heathrow with its sustainability strategies and Environmental Impact Assessment, following successful work completed to date for the airport.

Arup will utilize their world leading engineering expertise as well as continuing to lead Heathrow’s passenger experience and baggage improvement programs.

Atkins was appointed because of its world class engineering capability and record of delivering Heathrow’s IT and asset replacement programs.

Grimshaw’s creativity and world class experience, including their successful delivery of Terminal 2B, earned them the role of Concept Architect within the IDT.

Jacobs will contribute its world-leading aviation infrastructure design expertise to provide airport planning and engineering services and build on the work it has already done with Heathrow.

Mott MacDonald’s industry-leading knowledge developing airport masterplans, as well as its significant engineering expertise will be a crucial addition to the IDT.

Quod will be a valuable asset to the IDT, as one of the UK’s leading town and country planning consultants with extensive knowledge on making successful DCO applications.

unbenannt

Source: Heathrow Airport 

Alaska Airlines Flies First Commercial Flight with New Biofuel Made from Forest Residuals

New industry of woody biomass collection and conversion may help to create jobs in rural economies

Seattle, Washington, November 14, 2016: Alaska Airlines made history flying the world’s first commercial flight using a new sustainable alternativejet fuel made from forest residuals from the Pacific Northwest – the limbs, stumps and branches that are left over after a timber harvest or forest thinning of managed forests on private land.

The flight departed in the morning from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., powered by a 20 percent blend of the new, sustainable biofuel sourced directly from the Pacific Northwest.

The fuel for today’s flight was produced by the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), led Washington State University. NARA is a five-year initiative that unites 32 member organizations from the academia, aviation, private industry, and the government, that came together under a USDA grant to demonstrate the viability of producing alternative jet fuel from forest residuals.

Gevo, Inc., a NARA partner, successfully adapted its patented technologies to convert cellulosic sugars derived from wood waste into renewable isobutanol, which was then further converted into Gevo’s Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) fuel. Believed to be the world’s first alternative jet fuel produced from wood, the fuel meets international ASTM standards, allowing it to be used safely for commercial flights.

New Biofuel

While traditional forest practices leave some of the harvest materials behind to replenish soil nutrients and provide cover, the excess forest biomass is usually piled and burned. The biofuel used in this flight was made from excess forest residuals collected from both sustainably managed forests owned by Weyerhaeuser (OR), the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe (WA), and the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes (MT), as well as rejected wood fibers from Cosmo Specialty Fibers (WA).

Using forest residuals for biofuel feedstock is exciting because

  • it does not compete with food production,
  • air pollution is cut by reducing slash pile burning,
  • removal of residuals prepares the forest floor for replanting,
  • the new industry of woody biomass collection and conversion helps create jobs in rural economies and
  • forest residuals are abundant and can be sustainably supplied from private lands.

Sustainable alternative jet fuels reduce greenhouse gas emission by 50-80 percent over the lifecycle of the fuel- from growth of the feedstock, transportation to a processing facility and production. The actual emission reduction depends on the type of feedstock used. A flight with a 20 percent blend of biofuel made from forest residuals will emit approximately 70 percent less CO2 than conventional petroleum jet.

Alaska Airlines Flies First Commercial Flight with New Biofuel Made from Forest Residuals

Alaska Airlines made history flying the world’s first commercial flight using a new sustainable alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals

Alaska Airlines flew already two more flights in June using a blend of biofuel produced from the non-edible portion of sustainable corn.

Source: Alaska Airlines

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