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Canadian Airline Buys First SAF in Canada from Shell Aviation

In World
April 23, 2024
Canadian Airline Buys First SAF in Canada from Shell Aviation

Canadian Airline Buys First SAF in Canada from Shell Aviation

This article was first published on Rigzone here

Canadian airline WestJet Group has purchased the first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplied in Canada by Shell Aviation.

“We are delighted to supply WestJet with SAF, as we continue to support our customers on their decarbonization journeys, while simultaneously building out the supply chain in Canada to enable more customers to access SAF,” Christine Bassitt, General Manager for Shell Aviation, Americas, said.

Shell uses a program which is one of the world’s first blockchain-powered digital SAF book-and-claim solutions for air travel called Avelia. It uses blockchain to provide clear and transparent tracking of the environmental attributes of SAF delivered into the aviation fueling network, according to a WestJet news release.

According to Shell Aviation’s website, SAF is a drop-in fuel, which can be blended at a ratio of up to 50 percent with conventional jet fuel for use in aircraft operating today. SAF can be made from renewable and waste-based sources such as used cooking oil, municipal and agricultural waste, with technologies to produce SAF from carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen under commercial development.

The SAF acquired from Shell Aviation is blended with conventional jet fuel to meet all certification and safety requirements, while requiring no new investments in aircraft engines, fuel infrastructure or distribution processes, according to the release.

WestJet said it “remains committed to working with government and industry partners toward the establishment of a sustainable, long-term commercial framework for SAF”.

“WestJet is committed to enhancing our position as a first mover in sustainability technologies. Just as we pioneered advancements in Winglets and drag reduction, WestJet proudly stands as the first airline to acquire SAF by Shell in Canada,” Angela Avery, WestJet Group Executive Vice President, said.

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Westjet, having almost 200 aircraft, has several focus areas including reducing emissions intensity, having progressive fleet modernization plans and advocacy for sustainable aviation fuel production in Canada, the company’s website stated.

Westjet earlier reported an 11 percent reduction in its fuel emissions intensity in 2023 compared to 2019. The lower aircraft emissions intensity can be attributed to strategic initiatives including fleet modernization and a responsible shift in network planning. By incorporating newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft and optimizing flight routes, WestJet is successfully curtailing its impact on the environment, it said.

Airline reliance on sustainable jet fuel will be foundational to the decarbonization of the aviation industry. With its abundant space to grow feedstock, a large oil and gas industry, and robust federal sustainability goals, Canada holds the necessities to facilitate the large-scale production of SAF, WestJet remarked.

In an earlier report, electrification and automation technology firm ABB collaborated with Cap Clean Energy on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production sites in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. According to the release, Cap Clean Energy’s biofuel facilities will be designed as modular systems capable of rapid production scale-up. The concept can then be applied as part of a wider, long-term rollout across a network of integrated and connected bio-refineries.

To contact the author, email rocky.teodoro@rigzone.com

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