Saudi Aramco partners with Formula Motorsport to introduce sustainable fuels

The oil giant will power Formula 2 and Formula 3 motor racing championships with clean fuel from next year

Saudi Aramco signed a preliminary agreement with Formula Motorsport to introduce the use of sustainable fuels in the Formula 2 and Formula 3 motor racing championships from 2023. Photo: Getty Images
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Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil-exporting company, signed a preliminary agreement with Formula Motorsport to introduce the use of sustainable fuels in the Formula 2 and Formula 3 motor racing championships from 2023 as decarbonisation efforts to limit global warming gather pace globally.

The agreement, which is subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council approval, “will form part of the wider sustainability strategy announced by the FIA and Formula 1, which will see the sport become net zero carbon by 2030,” the companies said in a statement on Friday.

FIA, also known as the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, is the governing body for many motor racing events including Formula One. By 2026, all FIA Championships are required to power their cars with 100 per cent sustainable fuels.

“Sustainability is at the top of the global motor sport agenda, and it is vital to see this work not only going on in Formula 1 but also in Formula 2, Formula 3 and throughout the entire ecosystem,” Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA president, said.

“Our sport is developing and evolving rapidly and it will continue to lead the way, pioneering the technologies, including sustainable fuels that will be crucial to tackle climate change.”

Aramco is currently working on the development of sustainable fuels to power the world’s existing automotive fleet and help reduce global transport emissions.

“Aramco’s ambition is to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions across our wholly-owned operated assets by 2050,” Ahmad Al Sa’adi, senior vice president of technical services at Aramco, said.

“Moreover, we recognise the need to work closely with our suppliers and customers to reduce emissions along the entire value chain of our products. This includes those in the transportation sector, where our approach includes redesigning internal combustion engines, and the fuels that power them.”

Aramco is also teaming up with South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology to jointly research and develop advanced fuels for an "ultra lean-burn, spark-ignition engine" that aims to lower overall emissions in hybrid vehicles.

“We are exploring practical solutions that can enable decarbonisation of the transport sector, from low-carbon fuels and more efficient engines to cutting-edge materials and carbon capture technology,” Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, chief technology officer of Aramco, said.

Earlier this year, Aramco also signed an agreement with Formula One’s Aston Martin for the development of highly efficient internal combustion engines, sustainable fuels and advanced lubricants to lower emissions in racing cars.

Efforts to cut emissions are gathering pace globally amid global warming challenges.

The International Renewable Energy Agency this week said it has joined 14 global companies to set up a new alliance that aims to decarbonise industries and help countries to achieve net zero goals in line with the Paris agreement.

A number of companies including Abu Dhabi’s Taqa, Italy’s Enel Green Power, Egypt’s Taqa Arabia, Eni and Technip Energies are part of the alliance.

Updated: September 03, 2022, 10:39 AM