Gazprom Neft announced it launched an alliance with aviation industry leaders to help ensure the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at Russian airports in accordance with international standards. The Eurasian SAF Alliance is the first Russian sustainable aviation fuel manufacturers and developers association and plans to carry out the first flight on biofuel no later than 2024.

Gazprom Neft teamed with Airbus and Aeroflot, as well as S7 Group and Volga-Dnepr airlines, the National Research Center named after N. Ye. Zhukovsky and the State Research Institute of Civil Aviation to form the Eurasian SAF Alliance. Experimental batches of SAF will be produced at Gazprom Neft refineries in Moscow and Omsk and the key research will be carried out by the Gazprom Neft Industrial Innovation Technology Center in St. Petersburg with the aim of developing SAF as well as technology for industrial production.

The Eurasian SAF-Alliance is an open platform that brings together aviation industry participants throughout the entire aviation green fuel production chain. The members of the Alliance are going to develop a roadmap to study the operational properties of SAF, to support R&D, and to develop the standards and technical regulations for “into the wing” refueling.

This is an important step and is, in a way, a guide for other industry firms in the aviation fuel chain.  The conversation we had with Neste yesterday also made it clear that collaboration is the way forward.  Especially given the urgency to increase SAF production and availability.  The world’s airlines need/want SAF right away to reduce their pollution levels.  But the world is still thralled by fossil fuel production and changing this requires some sort of external shock.  Given that it is primarily state support that enables fossil fuel supply to maintain its hold, that shock must come from state actors.

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