Etihad Airways, Boeing, Takreer, Total and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology will collaborate on an initiative – BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability – to support a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the United Arab Emirates.
In a written release the partners said BIOjet Abu Dhabi will engage a broad range of stakeholders to develop a comprehensive framework for a UAE biofuel supply chain, including research and development and expanded investment in feedstock production and refining capability in the UAE and globally.
The initiative was announced one day after Etihad Airways conducted a demonstration flight with a Boeing 777 powered in part by the first UAE-produced biokerosene from an innovative plant biomass-processing technology.
The biofuel was partially converted from biomass by Total and its partner Amyris. Takreer, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC), did the final aviation biofuel distillation, adding the UAE to a handful of countries that have produced and flown on their own biokerosene.
The Masdar Institute’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, funded by Etihad Airways and Boeing, is currently researching and developing salt-tolerant plants that would be raw material for the same refining processes to produce renewable fuel.
“In collaboration with our key partners, our goal is to support and help drive the commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel in Abu Dhabi, the region and also globally," said James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways.
"We have made some important first steps in this process and our continued focus will be to develop further initiatives such as this which will facilitate the availability of sustainable aviation biofuels for Etihad Airways in the coming years,” Hogan said.
The Etihad Airways demonstration flight and announcement of BIOjet Abu Dhabi were held in the run-up to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the World Future Energy Summit, hallmarks of UAE leaders’ commitment to sustainable energy development. BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability is aligned with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which seeks to develop sustainable energy sources to diversify the UAE economy and increase workforce opportunities for Emiratis.
“With further commitment and investment, the UAE, a global leader in commercial aviation, is well-positioned to lead efforts to make our industry more sustainable," said Jeffrey Johnson, president of Boeing Middle East. "Boeing, which works with partners around the world to advance sustainable biofuel development, sees great opportunity for BIOjet Abu Dhabi to have a positive impact in the UAE and globally.”