TotalEnergies has joined other energy companies in their collaboration to drive green hydrogen development and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production in the UAE. The agreement was signed at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2022 to develop a demonstrator plant project in Masdar City.

The collaboration, led by renewables company Masdar, was established last year with Siemens Energy and the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, along with several other companies. TotalEnergies will contribute its experience producing SAF and supplying the fuel to airlines.

“We are very pleased to partner with Masdar and Siemens Energy to meet the challenge of decarbonising air transport through sustainable aviation fuel from green hydrogen,” said Francois Good, senior vice president of refining and petrochemicals Africa, Middle East, and Asia at TotalEnergies.

“In this project, TotalEnergies brings its expertise in renewables energy as well as SAF manufacturing and marketing advanced sustainable fuel production with the aim of acting directly on the carbon intensity of the energy products used by our customers.”

There is a growing market for SAF, with several companies testing the technology recently and in the coming year. United Airlines became the first commercial carrier in history to fly passengers in an aircraft using 100% SAF in one of its engines in December.

The flight used 100% SAF in one engine, as opposed to a blend of SAF and conventional jet fuel, while the other engine ran on conventional jet fuel to prove there are no operational differences between the two fuels.

General Electric, which was involved with the test flight through its joint venture CFM International, said it intends to launch another test using 100% SAF in 2022 with Emirates.

Other oil and gas companies have also dived into the SAF sector, with Chevron teaming with Delta Airlines and Google to produce and test SAF, while Shell and Eni both have SAF production targets.

The collaboration in UAE hopes to reduce production costs of the technology and make it more commercially viable by using carbon dioxide as a feedstock. The partners involved have already completed evaluations on technology suppliers and feasibility studies and conceptual designs, and aim to move to the front-end engineering design stage later this year.

The project will also focus heavily on green hydrogen production, the companies said.

“Today’s signing and the participation of TotalEnergies as a co-developer represents a significant step forward for this exciting project. The demonstrator plant will help to establish the commercial viability of green hydrogen as an essential decarbonised fuel of the future, and will support Abu Dhabi’s development as a green hydrogen hub,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer of Masdar.

“While the hydrogen market is still at a comparatively early stage, we firmly believe that by working together with international partners on projects such as this, we can help the hydrogen market develop its full potential and it will really take off in the years to come.”

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