Giant Aircraft Maintenance Services Provider to Start Using SAF, Completes First Trial

Last year has been a significant one for SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) development, from the U.S. government’s “SAF Grand Challenge,” to huge SAF purchases from major airlines and several tests using this alternative fuel. This year is already looking like it’s going to be just as exciting, if not more, with additional SAF testing.
The Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine powers the Airbus A380 6 photos
Photo: Airbus
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SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC), one of the largest providers of MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services in the Asia-Pacific region, has joined the list of companies that have kicked off SAF tests. The tests were carried out at the company’s engine test facility, using a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine. That’s because SIAEC and Rolls-Royce are actually partners in a joint venture called Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited (SAESL).

The goal is to start using blended SAF at the company’s so-called test cell, which is a facility for performance checks on aircraft engines, following maintenance operations. But this will only happen when the production and usage of this alternative fuel scale up – something that the U.S. government has also been supporting through its “challenge” for SAF developers.

The trial used 38% blended SAF, which cut carbon emissions by 32% compared to conventional jet fuel. The Trent 900 engine, which powers the Airbus A380, was already designed to improve fuel burn efficiency, while also reducing noise and weight. The innovative technology includes a fan containment system that is made of titanium instead of Kevlar, which is an industry-first, and the high-pressure at the core of the engine rotates in opposite direction to the other two, which improves fuel efficiency, as Rolls-Royce explains.

Although it’s a small step, this trial will help advance the adoption of SAF for MRO services in the region, which is important for future low-carbon aviation.

SIAEC’s engine test facility is already using renewable energy for its operations, boasting more than 500 solar panels on its roof, capable of generating up to 260 MWh of power each year.
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 Download: SIAEC Conducts Successful SAF Trial (PDF)

About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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