Shell Aviation has rolled out its electric pump jet refuelling vehicle in its operations at Stuttgart Airport in Germany.

The 20,000-litre refueller has been developed by Esterer, with collaboration from Shell Aviation.

Said to be the first-of-its-kind, the new refueller has the capacity to decrease diesel consumption during aircraft refuelling and lower emissions. It also facilitates reduction of noise and particulate emissions on the aircraft stand.

Equipped with a fully electric fuelling system and pressure control, the refueller uses its diesel engine only for moving across the apron and switches it off when refuelling is done.

Shell Aviation vice president Anne Anderson said: “The electric pump jet refueller system is an example of the spirit of innovation we bring to our customers, working with airports and airlines to provide solutions to the operational challenges they face.

“Innovative technologies such as this have potential to deliver significant emissions savings across our refuelling processes.”

“We are excited about the potential for electric pump jet refuellers to help reduce the carbon footprint of airports. We are hopeful that this pilot programme at Stuttgart Airport will prove successful and these vehicles will have an important role to play in airports of the future.”

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By GlobalData

Shell Aviation is piloting the refueller with the support of Stuttgart Airport. During the pilot phase, the refueller is expected to save 2,200 litres of diesel compared to a conventional refuelling vehicle.

Stuttgart Airport management spokesman Walter Schoefer said: “Reducing the carbon footprint of our airport operations by electrifying ramp equipment is a priority for our business.

“Innovative technologies such as this have potential to deliver significant emissions savings across our refuelling processes. We are pleased to be partnering with Shell Aviation on this pilot and look forward to seeing the results.”

Following completion of the pilot phase, Shell Aviation intends to deploy the refueller across its refuelling network.