Emirates joins the Solent Cluster which plans to build a SAF plant
The Solent Cluster is a cross-sector collaboration of international organisations, including manufacturers and engineering companies, regional businesses and industries, leading logistics and infrastructure operators and academic institutions.
Emirates joins over 100 members as part of the Cluster, alongside founding members the Solent Partners (previously the Solent LEP), global energy provider ExxonMobil and University of Southampton.
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 start operating in 2032.
Emirates’ long-term aspiration to secure UK-produced SAF with The Solent Cluster is in addition to several SAF initiatives the airline has announced over the last year.
Sir Tim Clark, president Emirates Airline, said: “Emirates is proud to join like-minded organisations as part of The Solent Cluster Initiative.
“The Cluster has strong potential to power clean energy innovation and production and is another step forward in our journey towards long-term SAF adoption within our network. Alongside our fellow members, we look forward to contributing towards these efforts, while also seeing The Solent Cluster’s positive impact to the local economy, Southeast region, and wider industries.”
Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong, associate professor of mechanical engineering and academic cluster lead for the Solent Industrial Decarbonisation Cluster at University of Southampton, said: “The formation of a decarbonisation cluster that spans the public, private and higher education sectors is a monumental step forward for the region. It will introduce sustainable fuels for local transportation, the aviation and the shipping sectors; create low carbon energy to heat homes, businesses and public buildings; and open up new highly skilled jobs opportunities.
“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.”