Singapore Airlines Goes Green 

Photo Credit: Singapore Airlines

LONDON – The rich island nation of Singapore trials a pilot project to promote the use of SAF in the region. The city-state aims to be the pioneer in sustainable aviation in the region. Singapore is now leading the way in Asia to become a pioneer in sustainable aviation.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore or CAAS, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and GenZero – the investment platform of Temasek, one of Singapore’s largest investment arms – are now embarking on a decarbonisation journey in the aviation industry at an accelerated pace.

The country is gearing up for a new era of aviation. 

On 7 July, the blended SAF delivery to Singapore’s Changi airport via the airport’s fuel hydrant system marks the first operation of the blended mixture and will be used for selected SIA or Scoot flights departing Singapore Airport as a part of a pilot programme.

Under this trial programme, there will be at least 1,000 tines of SAF supplied by NESTE and a blended with fuel jet at ExxonMobil’s facilities in Singapore. This will shave off at least 2,5000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Scoot Airline is Singapore’s ULCC (Ultra Low Cost Carrier) arm, and will also be participating in this pilot initiative. 

The trials were actually announced in November 2021, and that will elevate Singapore as a SAF hub in the ASEAN region. The trial project will also study the economical feasibility of using a blended mixture for commercial operations. 

Not long ago, CAAS, Temasek and SIA announced that they will sell 1,000SAF credits this month as a part of the trial project, for customers (both business and leisure and cargo forwarders) to track and reduce their carbon footprint, which will create awareness for SAF after all.

By the end of the fourth quarter of this year, customers will be able to purchase a mix of SAX points under the SIA Group Voluntary Carbon Offset Programme. This is to also create awareness about the ambitious programme to the public. 

Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General, CAAS, said, “There is broad-based consensus amongst government and industry leaders around the world that the decarbonisation of the aviation sector and the achievement of net-zero targets set by airlines will require large-scale SAF adoption.”

“This first successful uplift of blended SAF is an important milestone in Singapore’s journey towards sustainable aviation. It shows that the Singapore Changi Airport is SAF-ready.”

“It also provides useful operational learning points on the adoption of SAF which the CAAS is studying as part of our work on a Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint.  We target to publish the Blueprint early next year.”

Ms Lee Wen Fen, Senior Vice President Corporate Planning, Singapore Airlines, said, “Today marks an important milestone in the SIA Group’s decarbonisation journey, as we uplift a blend of sustainable aviation fuel and jet fuel into our aircraft departing out of Singapore for the first time.”

“Sustainable aviation fuels are a key decarbonisation lever, and this pilot demonstrates our commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Working together with our partners, we will continue to support the adoption of SAF in Singapore.”

Mr Frederick Teo, Chief Executive Officer, GenZero, said, “We are delighted to see sustainable aviation fuel used on SIA and Scoot flights departing from Changi Airport. We have also been working with our project partners and the Climate Impact X (CIX) global exchange to pilot innovative products for SAF credits.”

“Such credits represent an important way to crowd in financing from environmentally conscious corporates and institutions to reduce the cost premium and encourage greater adoption of SAF to decarbonise global aviation.”

“We look forward to the SAF credits arising from this project being available by the end of the year.”   

Ms Geraldine Chin, Chairman and Managing Director, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., said, “We are proud to supply certified SAF to Singapore Airlines in this inaugural pilot.”

“ExxonMobil is bringing its deep capabilities in fuel manufacturing and logistics to help customers such as SIA achieve their net-zero ambitions.”

“We are focused on growing our lower-emissions fuels business by leveraging technology and infrastructure, and continuing research in advanced biofuels that could provide improved longer-term solutions.”

Singapore will start to become Asia’s most sought-after location in terms of sustainable fuels, as SAF are not yet prominent in the region. SAF is gaining massive ground in the continents of North America and Europe, while Asia is severely lagging behind, amidst the global initiative to become carbon neutral.

With this pilot project, the country aims to create awareness for the public and to become more mindful when travelling. 

With the collaboration of SIA, CAAS and Temasek, this pilot project means serious business to accelerate the process of decarbonising the aviation industry in Singapore. The three company has also been able to persuade big players like ExxonMobil to join the bandwagon.

Should these projects succeed (likely it will), this project may be a mandate for all airlines departing Singapore to adopt SAF technology, a proving ground for other countries in the region.  

Without collaboration from all parties, such projects would never emerge.

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Indy Udol

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