UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways has teamed up with Masdar, ADNOC, bp and Tadweer to work on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) project in the Emirates.

As part of the agreement announced at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2023, the partners will jointly explore feasibility of producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and other products, such as renewable diesel and naphtha, using municipal solid waste (MSW) and renewable hydrogen.

Leveraging capabilities of the parties involved, the feasibility study will assess the technical and commercial viability of such project.

Subject to the outcome of the study, the firms will develop, what could be the region’s first commercial-scale production capacity in Abu Dhabi.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), SAF can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions on average by up to 80% during its full lifecycle, compared to conventional jet fuel.

In a statement, Masdar said: “This collaboration is designed to strengthen the UAE’s leadership position in low-carbon energy and technology-driven industrial growth and will mark an important step in assessing the UAE’s potential to become a global leader in SAF production.”

IATA’s data also revealed Aviation to be major player in the UAE’s economy, accounting for more than 13% of the national gross domestic product.

“To support the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, that growth must be sustainable. SAF is currently the most viable proposition to help decarbonise the industry and has the potential to supply international markets,” Masdar added.

Recently, Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Neste to jointly advance the production and uptake of sustainable aviation fuel (Saf) for aerospace decarbonisation.