Hydrogen Can Play Key Role in Singapore’s Aviation Decarbonisation – Industry Consortium

The Singapore Hydrogen Cooperation Committee has identified hydrogen fuel as a potential enabler in the state’s aviation decarbonisation efforts. Formed following the Cooperation Agreement by Airbus, Changi Airport Group, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and Linde in February 2022, the committee has been examining market demand and supply for hydrogen, the hydrogen supply chain and infrastructure requirements, and potential considerations for establishing a successful hydrogen ecosystem for aviation in Singapore.

The technology to use liquid hydrogen to power aircraft is currently under development and will only be applied to future generations of large commercial aircraft. The committee’s early technical feasibility study aims to ensure Singapore’s preparedness to incorporate liquid hydrogen as part of its aviation decarbonisation strategy when the technology becomes mature and feasible.

Stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region are increasingly investing in hydrogen, developing new technologies, and establishing supply chains. Airbus recognises the potential of hydrogen as a longer-term decarbonisation pathway for aircraft operations, complementing sustainable aviation fuel, in support of the transition towards net zero by 2050.

The committee has identified infrastructure scenarios that could support the progressive deployment of a large-scale supply of liquid hydrogen for aviation at Changi Airport in the longer term future. Singapore’s aviation sector may consume up to 50 tonnes of liquid hydrogen daily from the 2040s, and up to 600 tonnes per day beyond 2050.

While a 2,000 NM range from Changi Airport would allow an aircraft to reach about 74 airports in 20 Asia-Pacific countries and territories, the committee highlighted that hydrogen readiness levels at potential destination airports and airlines’ commercial considerations would also be important for hydrogen-powered flights between Changi Airport and other airports in the region.

The International Civil Aviation Organization Member States have adopted a collective long-term global aspirational goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. While the near-term focus is on the wider adoption of sustainable aviation fuels in aircraft operations, hydrogen can potentially play a complementary role as a sustainable energy fuel in the longer term.

Hydrogen technology is still in its early stages, with many uncertainties, and the industry is studying aspects such as operations, safety, regulation, and economics. As the aviation industry progresses on its sustainability journey, a phased approach is prudent to support the use of hydrogen by aircraft.

Linde, with over 100 years of experience with hydrogen, recognises hydrogen’s potential in aviation. The company looks forward to leveraging its capabilities to further develop the promise of hydrogen in aviation.

To enable hydrogen-powered aviation to take off when the technology, regulations, infrastructure, and supply chains are ready, the committee also agreed that it was important to continue monitoring the development of hydrogen technology for aviation around various signposts, including technology maturity, concept of operations, regulations, hydrogen supply chain and airport infrastructure, readiness of other airports, and relative price of liquid hydrogen as an alternative aircraft fuel.

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