Credit: European Comission

The European Union (EU) is looking to invest in African sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) projects through its Global Gateway infrastructure fund, considered a competitor to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The EU has committed to allocating half of the fund’s €300 billion ($324 billion) budget to Africa.

To facilitate the development of SAF, the EU plans to launch a capacity-building project worth €4 million ($4.3 million) by the end of this year. The project’s aim will be to support SAF feasibility studies and certification in 11 African countries and India.

A spokesperson for the EU said the potential for SAF production on the African continent was significant. He cited Africa’s vast expanses of under-utilized agricultural land having become increasingly attractive to produce SAF feedstock. However, several challenges need to be addressed, including poor infrastructure, limited refining capacity, and inadequate regulations. These factors could potentially delay projects and increase costs associated with establishing feedstock supply chains.

Despite these challenges, companies such as Eni (Italy), Linde (Germany), Sasol (South Africa), and Topsoe (Denmark) are forging ahead with investments in African SAF and biofuels, demonstrating the growing interest and potential for them on the continent.

Tom Pleasant

Tom Pleasant has been an aviation journalist and editor since 2008. He has been the Group Deputy editor for A-Z Media Group, editor of Air Cargo News…