Industry News

Masdar and Boeing join together to develop the SAF sector in UAE and globally

by | Oct 6, 2023

Masdar the Future Energy Company in Abu Dhabi and Boeing have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and have come together with the shared aim to develop the sustainable aviation fuel sector in UAE and globally. Another aim for this project is to aid the commercial aviation industry by helping them achieve their net zero emissions goal by 2050.

The MOU was signed by Mohammad Abdelqader El Ramahi, Chief Green Hydrogen Officer, Masdar, and Kuljit Ghata-Aura, President, Middle East, Turkey & Africa, Boeing. This took place at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) in 2023. It was agreed after the plan for what the companies would focus on was mapped out, this included focusing predominantly on developing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), with the extra focus being on what the next steps could be for SAF. The topics discussed were ideas such as exploring advancing SAF accounting principles which would open the door to SAF overcoming geographical barriers which will appear as the SAF industry grows bigger.

The interest in SAF is due to the benefits it provides, which are made possible through the kind of material it is. SAF is created from sustainable sources such as green hydrogen and it has the ability to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 85% compared to regular petroleum jet fuel, over the fuel’s lifecycle. It also has the potential to reduce Co2 emissions over the next 30 years for all aviation sectors. Due to these benefits, SAF is widely regarded as an excellent alternative to regular fuel and is happily used as a replacement by about 50% of today’s jet fueled airplanes.

El Ramahi said, “As the UAE’s clean energy powerhouse, Masdar is proud to be partnering with Boeing, a leading global aerospace company, to promote the development of sustainable aviation fuel projects. Together, we will advocate enabling policies to nurture this key market. Ahead of the UAE hosting COP28 we will continue to leverage our combined knowledge, expertise and passion to support industry and create a more sustainable future for all.”

SAF is such a popular alternative for regular jet fuel because it is created from non-petroleum based renewable feedstocks, e.g., fats, greases, oils, yard waste, municipal solid waste, woody biomass and other feedstocks. The SAF is then mixed with ordinary jet A fuel at a level up to 50%. This results in aviation emissions being reduced by up to 80%. Reducing carbon emissions by 80% is a massive draw for the aviation industry to switch to SAF as the airline industry is currently responsible for 2-3% of global carbon emissions.

The next steps for this project is to research into producing SAF from methanol and to look into achieving other partnerships to spread the use of SAF.

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