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Shell, Rolls-Royce sign agreement to accelerate progress towards net zero

sustainable aviation fuel, SAF, biobased diesel
Photo: Rolls-Royce

Shell and Rolls-Royce signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) June 30 that aims to support the decarbonization of the aviation industry and its progress towards net-zero emissions. The long-term agreement builds on more than a century of cooperation between the two companies and embodies a shared perspective that collaboration across the aviation value chain is necessary for the decarbonization of the sector.

In recognition of the scale of the challenge, the MOU will expand and accelerate several existing areas of cooperation between the companies such as advancing the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This includes Rolls-Royce’s new SAFinity service, for which Shell is the exclusive SAF supplier, and working together on demonstrating the use of 100 percent SAF as a full drop-in solution. This will see the companies explore opportunities to help progress the use of 100 percent SAF towards certification, building on Rolls-Royce’s ongoing 100 percent SAF testing program.

“The heritage of collaboration between Rolls-Royce and Shell is a strong foundation for the future, particularly when it comes to our shared ambitions for achieving net-zero emissions,” said Anna Mascolo, president of Shell Aviation. “Being from different parts of the aviation value chain means Rolls-Royce and Shell bring complementary expertise, experiences and ideas to the table. Wide-ranging cooperation can drive new solutions that will help the aviation industry and our customers navigate a pathway to net zero.”

Paul Stein, chief technology officer at Rolls-Royce, said, “Supporting the decarbonization of aviation while continuing to enable progress in flight are goals that Rolls-Royce and Shell both share. We believe that working together on these aims can deliver benefits for both the development of new innovations as well as collaborating to find ways to unlock the net carbon emissions reduction potential of technology that is already in use today. SAFs will not only power large aircraft and business aviation, but also hybrid electric Urban Air Mobility (flying taxis) and the forthcoming generation of hybrid fixed wing city hoppers, which is why we place such importance on the ramp up of SAF adoption across the industry.”

The MOU will explore opportunities for Shell and Rolls-Royce to provide decarbonization solutions to meet their respective targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This will include both companies contributing technologies and expertise to help reduce operational emissions. Shell will assess opportunities to support Rolls-Royce in reducing travel emissions through the supply of SAF, while Rolls-Royce will lend its technical expertise to advise Shell in its new fuels development, as well as innovative low carbon energy alternatives for new aircraft and power systems.

The agreement will also set the foundation for Rolls-Royce and Shell to work together to proactively engage industry bodies and forums to progress strategic policy issues, and address existing barriers associated with the aviation sector’s pathway to decarbonization. As part of this, Rolls-Royce and Shell also expect to work closely with stakeholders from across the aviation community to help support wider progress towards net zero.

As part of the MOU, Rolls-Royce and Shell will assess broader opportunities for cooperation across aviation as well as infrastructure in other mobility sectors such as shipping and rail.

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