Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell announced it plans to produce about 2 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) a year by 2025.

The news comes as the company agrees to sell all its Permian basin assets to US independent ConocoPhillips.

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SAF has the potential to cut life-cycle emissions by up to 80% compared with conventional jet fuel and can be mixed with jet fuel without any infrastructure or design changes.

On Monday, Shell published two reports about the aviation sector’s role in decarbonisation. In a joint report, Shell and Deloitte stated the current global targets are not ambitious enough and that the sector should target net-zero emissions by 2050, outlining 15 solutions to progress on that path.

In the market for SAF, the companies say corporate flyers and cargo shippers need to lead the demand for low-emission aviation and rewards should be offered to customers that support sustainability.

Policy solutions would include support for net-zero targets, incentives for SAF feedstock production, and incentives for consumers, such as a carbon tax.

Technical changes

The companies advocate for technological changes, including improvements in carbon offsets, standards to ensure quality of carbon reductions from SAF, and research and development of electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Other stated solutions include collaboration between sectors, airports’ support of SAF, optimisation at airports and in the air to reduce emissions, aircraft efficiency, investment in decarbonisation, and more biological SAF and synthetic SAF production.

“Currently, sustainable aviation fuel accounts for less than 0.1% of the world’s use of aviation fuel. We want to help our customers use more SAF,” said Anna Mascolo, president of Shell Aviation.

“With the right policies, investments and collaboration across the sector, we can accelerate aviation’s progress towards net zero by 2050.

Shell also plans to have at least 10% of its global aviation fuel sales as SAF by 2030.

In a second report, Shell outlines how it will help aviation customers decarbonise with its projected SAF supply, rather than its current process of supplying SAF that is produced by others.

Last week, Shell announced it would build a biofuels pant at its Energy and Chemicals Park in Rotterdam, which could produce 820,000 tonnes of low-carbon fuels, such as SAF, a year.

Other companies are contributing to the SAF market, with Chevron partnering with Delta Air Lines and Google to produce and track emissions data from SAF.