Kenya is among the three African countries selected to pilot the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in a project backed by the European Union (EU).
According to Reuters, together with South Africa and Ethiopia, Kenya will benefit from the Ksh23 trillion infrastructure budget by the EU which is seen as a rival to China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Africa.
EU’s Global Gateway Infrastructure Fund is investing in SAF ahead of an anticipated boom in demand for environmentally sustainable air travel.
According to the International Air Transport Association, the demand for SAF in 2050 will be 450 billion litres per year.
President William Ruto (left) walking alongside Charles Michel, President of the European Council at Brusells, Belgium on March 30, 2023.
This will put Kenya in pole position in the global production of clean jet fuel earning the country billions in revenue.
“The fund has already backed renewable plants, green hydrogen initiatives, vaccines and education projects in Africa, and the official said it was now looking into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF),” Reuters explained how Kenya will benefit from kitty.
SAF market will be readily available as the EU is already pushing for emissions reduction targets that will require airlines to use more SAF.
Kenya in particular and Africa in general has been selected by the EU due to its vast swathes of under-utilised agricultural land.
Multi-national companies from Germany and Italy have already started making headways in Africa for biofuel investments.
While the three nations will benefit first from the project, the EU aims to in the long term to set up SAF production plants in 11 African countries and India.
SAFs are low-carbon fuel alternatives for the aviation industry and can be made from various crops among other feedstock sources.
“In the context of the Global Gateway, the Commission is currently looking into possible co-financing mechanisms and guarantee instruments. SAF production in the African continent has great potential,” a statement from European Commission spokesperson, Stefan De Keersmaecker, read in part.
A photo illustration of a commercial jet with a biofuel tank.