Egypt to Emerge as a Key Player in the SAF Industry

    The US delegates participating in the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Workshop emphasised Egypt’s immense potential to emerge as a key hub for SAF production in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, as reported by Ahram Online.

    The workshop was held on June 15 in a joint effort of the US Commercial Service of the US Department of Commerce and the Embassy of the United States of America, Cairo.

    While speaking at the roundtable discussion, Keith Kirkham, Minister Counsellor for Commercial Affairs in the US Embassy in Cairo, urged the world’s aviation sector to accelerate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production, with global demand for the fuel outstripping its supply.

    Kirkham affirmed that the disparity between SAF supply and demand will persist over the medium term and beyond. He stated that developing the necessary infrastructure and implementing regulatory frameworks can help the country efficiently address this supply-demand discrepancy.

    To meet this increasing demand for SAF by accelerating SAF initiatives, US businesses are actively scouring various avenues to collaborate with Egypt’s public and industries. However, according to Kirkham, Egypt’s SAF industry is in its early stages and needs support from both public and private sectors to become a leader in the global SAF market.

    According to the Director of Fuel and Emission at EgyptAir, Ahmed Mattar, Egypt’s private aviation industry is committed to providing technical and financial support to foster global collaboration on SAF initiatives.

    Aviation only causes 2.5% of annual CO2 emissions, but air travel may triple by 2050 and increase its impact on climate change. It means that curbing CO2 emissions from flights has now become dire.

    In line with Egypt’s vision for 2030 and its commitment to curbing anthropogenic CO2 emissions, Mattar stated, “We [EgyptAir] are committed to the sustainable aviation fuel by 2025 as a minimum of 2% of flights going to Europe and coming back from Europe mainly. Otherwise, there will be a penalty that will certainly be more expensive than SAF cost itself. SAF is the future of aviation locally, regionally, and globally.”

    SAF is a biofuel derived from sustainable waste products and feedstocks. It holds the potential to deliver the performance of traditional jet fuel but with a fraction of its carbon footprint.

    Switching to SAF is the best way for the aviation industry to become sustainable and carbon-neutral by 2050.

    A “drop-in” SAF can reduce the aviation industry’s carbon footprint by up to 80%, providing it with solid footing for significantly decoupling greenhouse gas emissions from the industry.

    However, with increasing bio-content spurring fungal growth in biofuel, checking microbial contamination and ensuring periodic testing with high-end kits such as FUELSTAT® has become imperative. 

    Going back to the report by Ahram Online on the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Workshop, underscoring cost and technology as the main challenges facing SAF initiatives, delegates in the event urged the government to incentivise the industry to attract private investment and scale up SAF production.

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