Singapore Ready for SAF: More Support Needed
The collaboration between the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), GenZero, and Singapore Airlines (SIA) has culminated in the successful completion of a 20-month pilot programme focused on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
This initiative, which commenced in February 2022 and was undertaken in partnership with Temasek, aligns with a vital recommendation from the International Advisory Panel (IAP) on Sustainable Air Hub – the establishment of a secure, long-term SAF supply ecosystem for Singapore.
The pilot study has revealed that while Singapore possesses the operational capacity to provide SAF, further efforts are required to encourage its widespread adoption. CAAS is now set to integrate the valuable insights gained from this pilot into the development of the Singapore Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint.
The SAF pilot encompassed three critical dimensions:
Operational readiness: This aspect of the pilot rigorously validated the entire process required to introduce SAF into Changi Airport. It included procurement, blending neat SAF with conventional jet fuel at Singapore facilities, safety certification, and the secure delivery of blended SAF to Changi Airport. The findings affirmed that SAF can be safely introduced at Changi Airport and loaded onto flights without the need for alterations to existing airport infrastructure.
Generation of SAF credits: To stimulate funding and facilitate the adoption of SAF among corporations and air cargo companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, SAF credits were generated for sale. Under the pilot, SIA acquired 1,000 tonnes of pure SAF, generating 1,000 SAF credits, which equates to approximately 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide reduction. These SAF credits were generated through the trusted industry standard, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Book & Claim System. The pilot underscored the feasibility of conducting transactions in SAF credits reliably and transparently, thereby setting the stage for a global marketplace for SAF credits.
Market readiness: During the pilot programme, approximately two-thirds of the 1,000 SAF credits generated were successfully sold. This not only validated the market demand for SAF credits but also emphasised the need for comprehensive efforts to facilitate widespread SAF adoption, which includes education, outreach, and the support of corporate and government policies.
Mr. Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS, remarked, "SAF, as estimated by the International Air Transport Association to account for 65% of the carbon emission reduction needed by aviation to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, will play a pivotal role in Singapore's aviation decarbonisation endeavours. CAAS is actively crafting a structural off-take mechanism to bolster the adoption of SAF, taking into account global developments, including discussions at the upcoming third International Civil Aviation Organization Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels."
Ms. Lee Wen Fen, Chief Sustainability Officer at Singapore Airlines, expressed, "SAF is a crucial tool in SIA Group's mission to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This pilot programme has laid the foundation for a tangible path towards SAF adoption in Singapore. SIA remains committed to close collaboration with our partners to promote and scale up the use of SAF in Singapore."
Mr. Frederick Teo, CEO of GenZero, added, "SAF is widely recognised as a pivotal instrument in decarbonising aviation. Ensuring the operational deployment of SAF in Singapore will position Changi Airport as both a regional and global sustainable aviation hub. The pilot serves as a testament to the aviation community's ability to mobilise the ecosystem for the operationalisation, deployment, and utilisation of SAF.
"Through this pilot, GenZero also partnered with organisations like Climate Impact X and RSB to launch SAF credits. This facilitated the development of methodologies and processes to assess the willingness of corporations to offset their travel emissions. It yielded valuable insights on how to attract additional carbon financing to offset the price premium and support SAF adoption."
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