Shell’s aviation arm has reached a deal with the Emirates airline to supply it with 300,000 gallons of sustainably blended aviation fuel (SAF).
The first deliveries are expected to go to the airline’s Dubai hub at the end of the year. It will enable it to blend SAF with conventional jet fuel to lower the emissions from the flights departing from its DXB Dubai International hub.
Shell Corporate Travel vice president Chu Yong-Yi said about the deal:
“This agreement marks a step forward for the aviation industry in the UAE. Enabling SAF to be supplied at DXB for the first time is an important milestone, and a perfect example of how the different parts of the aviation value chain have a role to play in unlocking progress on SAF.”
Sustainable aviation fuel is made from waste products like cooking oil, so its lifecycle emissions can be up to 80% lower than conventional jet fuel. Currently it can be blended at up to 50% with conventional jet fuel for use in existing fleets, but future engines may be able to use it at higher proportions. Emirates even performed the Middle East’s first demonstration flight with 100% SAF this year, and it is already using blended SAF from many other locations.
Shell, which also makes industrial products like the Gadus grease range, sees SAF as an important tool for decarbonising the aviation sector, but it is currently expensive to produce. Deals like the one with Emirates enable Shell to invest in scaling up production in order to make SAF more affordable for airlines.