The partnership with the UAE’s flagship renewable energy company, Masdar, will focus initially on projects in North America and Europe, while also looking at the opportunity to establish clean flight operations in the UAE.
Masdar aims to be a global green hydrogen leader through a ‘smart first mover’ approach, by developing and investing in strategic projects and building scalable platforms in key markets. The company is targeting one million tonnes of green hydrogen production per year by 2030.
Masdar’s Green Hydrogen division is already heavily involved in major aviation projects targeting the production of green hydrogen. This new collaboration with ZeroAvia is likely to power the world’s first hydrogen-powered commercial flights.
The UAE aims to produce 1.4 million tonnes of hydrogen annually by 2031 and expects the figure to increase tenfold to 15 million by 2050, showing the scale of the country’s ambitions. Masdar is deeply committed to building the UAE’s green hydrogen economy and has signed and executed several global collaboration agreements with strategic partners in recent years.
ZeroAvia is working with some of the world’s largest energy companies to convene the provision of fuel for its airline operator customers, as early as 2025. The company is targeting refuelling onboard aircraft tanks for up to 90- seat aircraft at commercial airports by the end of this decade. With every such aircraft requiring up to a ton of hydrogen per each short regional flight, even a small commercial airport can drive more than a hundred tons of demand daily. All this fuel can be produced via a zero-emission process using renewable electricity.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s chief executive officer, said: “Masdar looks forward to working with innovative partners like ZeroAvia to advance decarbonisation in hard-to-abate sectors, such as aviation. As the UAE’s clean energy champion, we are passionate about unlocking the potential of green hydrogen to build a greener future for all.”
Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO, ZeroAvia, said: “We need large investment in renewable energy capacity to accelerate a future of truly clean flight for the entire industry, so we are delighted to partner with Masdar in this endeavour. Together, we are bringing the clean propulsion technology and the fuel to airlines to ensure that passengers can fly without any emissions and climate effects as soon as possible.”
ZeroAvia recently completed a flight test campaign of the ZA600 engine aboard a Dornier 228 aircraft at its UK base in Kemble, Gloucestershire. Hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the aircraft’s propellers. The only emission is water.