Emirates joins UK ‘Solent Cluster’ low carbon initiative

Aerial view of the Solent Cluster low carbon initiative.
Photo Credit: Emirates

Emirates has become the first international airline to join The Solent Cluster, a UK initiative focused on low carbon investments established to reduce CO2 emissions from industry, transport and households in the South Coast of England.

Aimed at fostering low carbon investments, the partnership now sees Emirates lending support to reducing CO2 emissions, particularly in the South Coast of England.

What is The Solent Cluster?

The Solent Cluster represents a collaborative effort across various sectors, including manufacturers, engineering firms, regional businesses, logistics operators, and academic institutions.

With over 100 members, including key players like ExxonMobil and the University of Southampton, the Cluster strives to spearhead initiatives focused on mitigating carbon emissions.

Focus on Sustainable Aviation Fuel

One of the pivotal endeavors of The Solent Cluster is the creation of a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) plant.

With an envisaged annual production capacity of 200,000 tonnes, this plant holds immense potential to revolutionize aviation fuel production.


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The SAF produced is projected to significantly reduce emissions, boasting a 70% lower carbon footprint compared to traditional fossil kerosene.

A Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) tanker alongside an aircraft.
Photo Credit: Neste

Emirates’ Involvement

Emirates’ decision to join The Solent Cluster aligns seamlessly with its long-term sustainability goals. The airline envisions collaborating closely with the Cluster to secure locally-produced SAF, thereby furthering its mission to adopt sustainable practices within its network.

This move follows Emirates’ successful demonstration flights in 2023, where both A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft operated using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

An Emirates Boeing 777 being fuelled with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)
Photo Credit: Emirates

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, expressed the airline’s support for the partnership, highlighting the potential of The Solent Cluster to drive clean energy innovation.

He emphasized Emirates’ dedication to contributing to these efforts while positively impacting the local economy and broader industries.

Academic Endorsement

Dr. Lindsay-Marie Armstrong, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Southampton, lauded the formation of The Solent Cluster as a pivotal step towards decarbonization.

She emphasized the significance of collaboration across sectors in achieving a low carbon economic future for the region.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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