Abu Dhabi to get Middle East’s first waste-to-sustainable aviation fuel plant
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Abu Dhabi to get Middle East’s first waste-to-sustainable aviation fuel plant

Abu Dhabi to get Middle East’s first waste-to-sustainable aviation fuel plant

The plant will have the potential to transform up to four million tonnes of municipal solid waste every year into sustainable aviation fuel

Abu-Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Waste Management Centre (Tadweer) has signed a joint project development agreement with Etihad Airways to facilitate the development of the first Waste-to-Sustainable Aviation Fuel (WtF) plant in the Middle East Region.

Upon completion, the plant will have the potential to transform up to four million tonnes of municipal solid waste every year into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The SAF produced from the WtF plant in Abu Dhabi would be compliant to International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) standards for decarbonisation of the aviation sector.

The plant will help Abu Dhabi divert 75 per cent of municipal waste away from landfills, according to state-run news agency WAM.

“This agreement is aligned with Tadweer’s continued efforts to divert waste from landfills and harness technological innovations that are commercially viable to address the challenges posed by the treatment of large volume of waste. This collaboration between Tadweer and Etihad Airways reinforces Abu Dhabi’s, and the broader UAE’s, commitment to net-zero targets that puts UAE on a credible path to zero out emissions by mid-century,” said Dr. Salem Al Kaabi, director general of Tadweer.

The Waste-to-SAF plant is also expected to reduce CO2 emissions by about 1 million tonnes annually – equivalent to the removal of more than 200,000 cars from the road. The proposed WtF plant would be developed through joint procurement by Tadweer and Etihad Airways.

Etihad airways would be entering into a long-term SAF offtake agreement and Tadweer would serve as the provider of feedstock waste under a long-term waste supply agreement.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, COO of Etihad Aviation Group, noted: “To truly make sustainability a reality in aviation we need to look at the biggest contributing factor, fuel, where sustainable aviation fuel is required to meet the net zero target. Through this agreement, four million tonnes of waste will be converted into 140 million gallons of SAF, representing a significant portion of our annual fuel requirement. Today’s collaboration between Tadweer and Etihad Airways is just the first step towards a much broader engagement within Abu Dhabi to create a hub for producing SAF and synfuels.”

Private sector participants would be invited to submit proposals to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the facilities, which will use advanced commercially proven technology to convert municipal solid waste into SAF.

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