Renewable diesel trials for airside vehicles begin at Changi Airport

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SINGAPORE: In an effort to decarbonise Singapore’s aviation sector, trials will be conducted on the use of renewable diesel for heavy and specialised airside vehicles operating at Changi Airport. 

The trials, expected to last one year, will inform deliberation on adopting renewable diesel to power such vehicles in the future, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in a media release on Monday (May 13). 

Singapore aims to reduce domestic aviation emissions from airport operations by 20 per cent from 2019 levels by 2030.

It has also set a target to achieve net-zero domestic and international aviation emissions – inclusive of emissions from international flights operated by Singapore-based operators – by 2050. 

In February, CAAS announced a blueprint that would guide Singapore towards becoming a more sustainable air hub. This included transitioning to cleaner energy for airside vehicles.

The transition is to be achieved in three ways – electrification, the use of biofuels and exploring the use of hydrogen-powered airside vehicles, said CAAS.

While viable electric vehicle variants for light vehicles, such as cars and vans, are widely available, the national aviation authority pointed out that few electric options exist for many of the the over 1,800 heavy and specialised vehicles and ground support equipment at Changi Airport. 

Therefore, “a key near-term decarbonisation pathway for such vehicles is the use of biofuels, and in particular renewable diesel”, it said. 

According to CAAS, renewable diesel has up to 95 per cent lower lifecycle carbon emissions compared to conventional fossil diesel.

“It can be used as a ‘drop in’ replacement in existing diesel engines without modification, and tap the existing transportation, storage, and distribution infrastructure for diesel, with minimal adjustments,” the national aviation authority said. 

“It can also be blended with fossil diesel in any proportion, allowing companies to calibrate their investments in clean...

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