Emirates becomes the first international airline to join the Solent group

Emirates has become the first international airline to join The Solent Cluster, a UK initiative focused on low-carbon investments set up to reduce CO2 emissions from industry, transport and households on the south coast of England.

The Solent Cluster is a cross-sector collaboration of international organizations, including manufacturers and engineering companies, regional businesses and industries, leading infrastructure and logistics operators, and academic institutions.

Emirates joins over 100 members as part of the Cluster, alongside founding members Solent Partners (formerly Solent LEP), a global energy provider. ExxonMobil and University of Southampton. Each of the founding members has shared details of their vision for the Solent and how it could secure existing jobs and produce low carbon fuels for a variety of sectors, including aviation.

The Solent Cluster has the potential to create a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plant with an estimated fuel production capacity of 200,000 tonnes (200 kt) per year. If approved, the plant could begin operations in 2032. Jet fuel produced by the SAF plant could avoid emissions of 563 kilotons of CO2 per year by producing fuel with 70 percent fewer emissions than fossil kerosene. Existing pipeline networks can supply SAF from the plant to major airports served by Emirates like Heathrow and Gatwick.

Emirates‘ long-term aspiration to ensure SAF produced in the UK with The Solent Cluster It joins several SAF initiatives the airline has announced over the past year. It follows demonstration flights of Emirates’ A380 and Boeing 777 that will use 100% sustainable aviation fuel in 2023. Emirates has expanded its partnership with Neste for the supply of SAF in 2024 and 2025 for its operations in Amsterdam and Singapore. The airline also increased SAF for the first time at its Dubai hub for commercial flights in October 2023.

Sir Tim Clark, Chairman of Emirates Airlinesaying,

“Emirates is proud to join like-minded organizations as part of the Solent Cluster Initiative. The Cluster has great potential to drive innovation and clean energy production and is another step forward in our journey towards long-term SAF adoption within our network. “Together with our fellow members, we look forward to contributing to these efforts and at the same time seeing the positive impact of the Solent Cluster on the local economy, the South East region and wider industries.”

Dr. Lindsay-Marie Armstrongassociate professor of mechanical engineering and academic group leader of the Solent industrial decarbonisation group at the University of Southampton, said:

“The Solent is recognized as a major contributor to CO2 emissions from energy-intensive manufacturing processes each year. The formation of a decarbonization group spanning the public, private and higher education sectors is a huge step forward for the region. It will introduce sustainable fuels for local transport, aviation and maritime sectors; create low-carbon energy to heat homes, businesses and public buildings; and open new opportunities for highly qualified employment. “This can only be achieved by working together as a community, covering all sectors and ultimately working with the same desire to achieve a low carbon economic future for the Solent region.”

News source: Emirates News Agency

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