Shell Aviation has reached an agreement with Emirates to supply the airline with more than 300,000 gallons of blended Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for use at the airline’s hub in Dubai (DXB).

The first SAF delivery under the agreement is expected to commence before the end of the year.

Emirates says that it marks the first time that SAF will be supplied through the DXB airport fuelling system.

Emirates will track SAF delivery and its use data through Avelia, a blockchain-enabled platform.

Through Avelia, Emirates will purchase the physical SAF and associated environmental attributes to help decarbonise its Scope 1 related emissions, while Scope 3 environmental attributes associated to the same physical SAF will be purchased by Shell Corporate Travel to help decarbonise its related business travel.

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline said, “We are proud to work in partnership with Shell to make a SAF supply available for Emirates in Dubai for the first time, and to utilise the Avelia platform that provides business travellers the flexibility to align their sustainability targets and reduce their environmental footprint when travelling. We hope that this collaboration develops further to provide an ongoing future supply of SAF in our hub, as there are currently no production facilities for SAF in the UAE. We look forward to continue collaborating with like-minded organisations and government entities to look at viable solutions that introduce more SAF, a fuel that is currently extremely limited in supply, into the aviation fuel supply chain.”

Chu Yong-Yi, vice president of Shell Corporate Travel added, “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. We hope that this can act as a springboard for more action on SAF across the aviation industry in the UAE and region.”

Earlier this year, Emirates completed the first 100 per cent SAF-powered demonstration flight in the region. SAF can be blended with conventional jet fuel at a ratio of up to 50 per cent. In its neat form, SAF can reduce lifecycle emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel.

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The airline’s first flight powered by SAF blended with jet fuel took place in 2017, operating from Chicago on a Boeing 777. It has also uplifted SAF for flights from Stockholm, and currently operates flights from Paris, Lyon and Oslo with blended SAF.

In May this year, the airline committed US$200 million to fund research and development (R&D) projects focussed on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation. At the time, the airline said that it is “the biggest single commitment by any airline on sustainability” and added that the funds will be disbursed over three years.

(Image: Supplied by Emirates)