Gazprom Neft, Airbus, Aeroflot, S7, Volga-Dnepr to develop “green” aviation fuel
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Gazprom Neft, Airbus and airlines Aeroflot, S7 Group and Volga-Dnepr, together with the Central Zhukovsky Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute and the State Scientific Research Institute of Civil Aviation, have created an association of developers and producers of low-carbon aviation fuel, Gazprom Neft announced.

The Alliance is intended to create a platform on which participants in the aviation sector can interact to create low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for jet aircraft.

    And the Alliance intends to pursue and support research of the properties of SAF fuels and to develop standards and technical regulations for aerial refuelling. The main centre for scientific research and construction work will be Gazprom Neft’s Technological Centre in St. Petersburg. Experimental batches of SAF will be produced at the Moscow and Omsk refineries. The Alliance plans to conduct its first flight using the new fuel in 2024.

    “Now, along with airlines, aviation manufacturers and scientific institutes, we are ready to proceed with new research and development of green aviation fuel unique to Russian industry,” Anatoly Cherner, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Neft board, said in a statement.

    “The creation of an SAF alliance will bring together expertise of all air transport market participants and make progress in developing a more efficient Russian aviation biofuel.”

    Interest in low-carbon fuel has to a great extent been prompted by a tightening of European Union regulations on hydrocarbons. The EU’s Executive Commission set out the principles of its “Green Deal” which directly affected the air transport sector. By 2025, the share of SAF in the use of aviation fuel in the EU must account for no less than 2 % of the total. By 2030, that figure will rise to 5 % and by 2035 to 20 %.

    A number of European companies have already announced ambitious plans to produce SAF. Last September, Shell announced its intention to produce 2 million tonnes of “green” aviation fuel by 2025 and said that by 2030 it would bring its share of world-wide sales of aviation fuel to 10 %. And in August, the Spanish company Repsol announced it was beginning production of aviation fuel from industrial waste.

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