Sawan speaking at the forum

Sawan speaking at the forum

GTL jet fuel data discussed

The consortium whose research yielded a breakthrough aviation fuel was funded by a Qatar technology park and involved Shell and other global industry leaders

01 June 2013

The Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre (QSRTC) held a GTL Jet Fuel Forum to share the outcome and data of a world-class research programme conducted by the GTL Jet Fuel Consortium.

GTL Jet Fuel is one of the five main products produced by the Qatar Petroleum – Shell Pearl GTL plant in Ras Laffan, the largest GTL production facility in the world.

The day-long forum addressed insights based upon three years of research and development by the research consortium, which was funded by Qatar Science and Technology Park and involved global industry leaders such as Qatar Airways, Airbus, Qatar Petroleum, Rolls-Royce plc and Woqod, along with Qatar Shell.

Following a rare research collaboration, the consortium discussed the benefits of the new blend of jet fuel in detail, which is the first new aviation fuel to be approved for global markets in two decades. Data compiled during research on the process of making GTL jet fuel were shared for the first time during the forum, as were certification protocols.

Wael Sawan, managing director and chairman of Qatar Shell Companies, said, “I am extremely proud that our partnership with Qatar Petroleum on Pearl GTL resulted in a product that is considered a great innovation in the history of aviation fuel. I am also proud of the extraordinary ambition that has driven this research, which has set an excellent example of the power of collaboration. The pool of knowledge, ideas and research skills generated by some of the best-in-class stakeholders and the resulting product it bore will go a long way in cementing Qatar’s status as the GTL capital of the world.”

At the forum, Qatar Shell released a GTL Jet Fuel research summary, a publication exploring the technical boundaries of GTL aviation fuels that will be of interest to industry observers.

The ability of GTL-containing jet fuels to power aircraft has been known for many years; however, the detailed research programme of the Qatar GTL Aviation Fuels Consortium has helped confirm the fuel’s potential.

According to Youssif Saleh, general manager of Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre, this was the first multinational, global study on GTLs and has left a lasting legacy for Qatar and the wider knowledge and potential of GTL fuels.

The GTL jet fuel was first approved for use in civil aviation in September 2009, followed by Qatar Airways operating the world’s first commercial flight using a 50/50 GTL jet fuel blend on a flight from London to Doha. Meanwhile, in January 2013 Qatar Shell, Qatar Airways and Qatar Petroleum celebrated the first commercial introduction of GTL Jet A-1 with the inaugural fuelling of a Qatar Airways aircraft with the fuel at Doha.

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