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An artist's impression of Masdar City. Masdar City photo.
An artist’s impression of Masdar City. Masdar City photo.

Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest oil producers, is also a leader in environmental initiatives.

Its most ambitious project is the solar-powered Masdar City, which is being built about 20 kilometres east of the United Arab Emirates capital.

One of the institutes behind the project, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, is now joining state-owned Etihad Airways, U.S. aircraft maker Boeing and French oil giant Total to produce aviation biofuel in the UAE.

Oil refiner Takreer will also be a partner in BIOjet Abu Dhabi.

“BIOjet Abu Dhabi will engage a broad range of stakeholders to develop a comprehensive framework for a UAE biofuel supply chain, including research and development and expanded investment in feedstock production and refining capability in the UAE and globally,” the companies said Sunday.

EtihadA day earlier, an Etihad Boeing 777 took off on a 45-minute demonstration flight, powered in part by biofuel produced in Abu Dhabi.

“Our goal is to support and help drive the commercialization of sustainable aviation fuel in Abu Dhabi, the region and also globally,” said James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad.

The BIOjet Abu Dhabi initiative comes just days after Boeing said it was awaiting regulatory approvals to use green diesel on its airplanes.

“Boeing works with partners around the world to advance sustainable biofuel development and sees great opportunity for BIOjet Abu Dhabi to have a positive impact in the UAE and globally,” said Jeffrey Johnson, president, Boeing Middle East.