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Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in India: Groupe ADP, GMR Airports, Airbus, Axens and Safran sign a MoU to collaborate on making Indian aviation future ready

Environment

Airport operators Groupe ADP and GMR Airports together with Airbus, Axens and Safran have signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct a joint study on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and their potential in India.

The objective of the study, conducted under the lead and coordination of Groupe ADP and GMR Airports and with the expertise of all partners, is to understand and evaluate the demand, the challenges and opportunities of supply, infrastructure and fueling, as well as to prepare a business case for SAF production and use in India for all kind of aviation purposes.

SAF is a clean substitute for fossil jet fuels. Rather than being refined from petroleum, SAF is produced from sustainable resources such as waste oils from a biological origin, agri residues, municipal solid wastes or algae. SAF produced using the most advanced pathways can provide CO2 emission reduction of up to 85% across the entire SAF lifecycle.

The aviation sector globally contributes to 2-3% of CO2 emissions as compared to other sectors. In 2009, the aviation industry collectively agreed under the frame of ATAG (Air Transport Action Group) to the world’s first set of sector-specific climate change targets. These targets include- Carbon neutral growth from 2020 and achieving 50% reduction in carbon emission by 2050 relative to a 2005 baseline. In 2021, the ATAG commitments have been modified to aim at Net Zero in 2050, in order to be coherent with current global roadmaps defined in the Paris Agreement with 1.5°C temperature limit scenario. To realize this ambitious goal for the Aviation sector, ATAG has identified SAF as one of the most promising options. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) also stressed the need for massive deployment of SAF in its work dedicated to LTAG (Long Term Aspirational Goals) recently adopted.

In India, already the 3rd largest domestic aviation market in the world and with a forecasted yearly growth of about 9% going forward, SAF use will be a key element to achieve the targets of carbon reduction and net zero target of the country by 2070, set by the Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi. Considering the crucial role SAF is going to play within Aviation sector in coming years, it is imperative to evaluate and map the requirements of SAF, feedstock availability, fuel production technologies, logistics systems and airport infrastructural planning at Indian Airports and make it future ready. The joint study on Sustainable Aviation Fuels will help Indian aviation sector in assessing all these critical factors and help them gear up for the future. The study will also review the regulations in place and what could be the necessary evolutions to permit to the SAF to take off in the operations. In addition, this study will also evaluate the business model and feasibility of the implementation of a pilot project in an appropriate location in India, which could be taken up in a second phase by the partners.

The study will be initiated in the second quarter of 2022 and is expected to be completed within 1 year. It may be further extended based on the agreement of all the Parties involved. 

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Groupe ADP is an international Airport operator, which aims to welcome passengers, operate and imagine airports, in a responsible way and all around the World. Groupe ADP is a worldwide leader in the airport industry thanks to an integrated offer covering the entire airport value chain: investment activities, airport operations, services for design engineering and innovative solutions.

GMR Airports is a leading global airport developer. GMR’s integrated airports vertical has a proven track record of capabilities across the airport value chain. It has a demonstrated airport development, operational and project execution for both brownfield and greenfield opportunities, airport project management, airport O&M, airport advisory and aviation training expertise.

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as Europe’s number one space enterprise and the world’s second largest space business. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

Axens  group (www.axens.net) provides a complete range of solutions for the conversion of oil and biomass to cleaner fuels, the production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates, the chemical recycling of plastics and all natural gas treatment and conversion options. The offer includes technologies, equipment, furnaces, modular units, catalysts, adsorbents and related services. Axens is ideally positioned to cover the entire value chain, from feasibility study to unit start-up and follow-up throughout the entire unit life cycle. This unique position ensures the highest level of performance with a reduced environmental footprint. Axens global offer is based on highly trained human resources, modern production facilities and an extended global network for industrial, technical supports & commercial services. Axens is an IFP Group company.

Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2020, and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes research and development programs to maintain the environmental priorities of its R&T and Innovation roadmap.

Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices

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