Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Emirates launches SAF operations at London Heathrow Airport – Offshore Technology

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Emirates Airlines started operating with SAF from Shell Aviation at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), the airline company announced on 15 May. Neat SAF, blended with conventional jet fuel, will supply more than 3,000t into the airport’s fuelling infrastructure network until the end of summer 2024. 

Emirates will use SAF to fuel some of its flights at LHR for the first time, marking the airline’s largest purchase of SAF to date.  

The airline is participating in LHR’s SAF Incentive Programme, which was introduced in 2022. Heathrow said in a statement that this programme guarantees the affordability and accessibility of SAF for airlines operating at the airport.  

The programme incentivises using up to 155,000t of SAF at the airport in 2024, aiming to reduce the equivalent of more than 340,000t of carbon emissions from flights. Additionally, £71m ($89.61m) is available to airlines to support the transition to cleaner fuels. 

Adel Al Redha, deputy president and COO of Emirates Airline, said: “Emirates is eager to take this next step in our SAF journey with Shell Aviation and London Heathrow supporting us with this fuel supply arrangement in one of our biggest operations outside of Dubai. The LHR Incentive Programme will support the SAF market’s increasing momentum, allowing airlines like Emirates to take advantage of its availability and make it more commercially viable.” 

The airline will carefully monitor and manage the delivery of SAF at London Heathrow, ensuring its sustainability through reliable reporting methods.  

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Emirates will safely introduce the SAF purchased from Shell Aviation into the current airport fuelling system and aircraft engines. When used directly, SAF has the potential to decrease life cycle carbon emissions by as much as 80% compared with traditional jet fuel, Emirates said in a statement.  

Emirates operates flights from Amsterdam, Paris, Lyon and Oslo with SAF. Last year, the airline collaborated with Shell Aviation to supply SAF to Dubai Airport fuelling systems for the first time, allocating the SAF to several flights. In May 2024, the airline plans to work with local partners at Singapore Changi Airport to supply SAF through the airport’s fuelling systems. 

Heathrow’s chief commercial officer, Ross Baker, said: “SAF is crucial to decarbonising long-haul flights as it can cut the carbon on routes like London to Dubai without new aircraft or infrastructure. Now we need to ramp up SAF production in the UK so the country can benefit from jobs, growth and energy security as more airlines switch to more sustainable fuels.” 

Earlier this year, Emirates became the first international carrier to participate in the Solent Cluster, the UK’s first major decarbonisation initiative. The initiative focuses on low-carbon investments and aims to establish an SAF plant. If it becomes operational by 2032, the plant has the potential to produce up to 200,000t per year.  


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