Shell and Rolls-Royce have signed a memorandum of understanding which aims to support the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.

The long-term agreement builds on more than a century of cooperation between the two companies.

The duo said it “embodies a shared perspective that collaboration across the aviation value chain is necessary for the decarbonisation of the sector”.

In recognition of the scale of the challenge, the deal will expand and accelerate several existing areas of cooperation between the companies such as advancing the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

This includes Rolls-Royce’s new SAFinity service, for which Shell is the exclusive SAF supplier, and working together on demonstrating the use of 100 per cent SAF as a full “drop-in” solution.

This will see the companies explore opportunities to help progress the use of 100 per cent SAF towards certification, building on Rolls-Royce’s ongoing 100 per cent SAF testing programme.

“The heritage of collaboration between Rolls-Royce and Shell is a strong foundation for the future, particularly when it comes to our shared ambitions for achieving net zero emissions,” said Anna Mascolo, president, Shell Aviation.

“Being from different parts of the aviation value chain means Rolls-Royce and Shell bring complementary expertise, experiences and ideas to the table.

“Wide-ranging cooperation can drive new solutions that will help the aviation industry and our customers navigate a pathway to net zero.”

The partnership will also explore opportunities for Shell and Rolls-Royce to provide decarbonisation solutions to meet their respective targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

This will include both companies contributing technologies and expertise to help reduce operational emissions.

Shell will assess opportunities to support Rolls-Royce in reducing travel emissions through the supply of SAF, while Rolls-Royce will lend its technical expertise to advise Shell in its new fuels development, as well as innovative low carbon energy alternatives for new aircraft and power systems.