Shell Aviation introduces industry-first electric pump jet refueler

Shell Aviation announced the introduction of a first-of-its-kind electric pump jet refueling vehicle in its operations at Stuttgart Airport, Germany. The vehicle significantly reduces diesel consumption during aircraft refueling, supporting airports in their efforts to reduce emissions across their operations.

“The electric pump jet refueler system is an example of the spirit of innovation we bring to our customers, working with airports and airlines to provide solutions to the operational challenges they face,” said Anne Anderson, vice-president of Shell Aviation. “We are excited about the potential for electric pump jet refuelers to help reduce the carbon footprint of airports. We are hopeful that this pilot program at Stuttgart Airport will prove successful and these vehicles will have an important role to play in airports of the future.”

The 20,000-liter refueler features a fully electric fueling system and pressure control, enabling a significant reduction in diesel consumption when compared to conventional refuelers, which use the diesel engine to power refueling. The new refueler uses its diesel engine solely for moving around the apron, switching it off while refueling takes place.

Following extensive trials, the refueler is currently being piloted with the support of Stuttgart Airport. It is anticipated that the refueler will deliver a reduction in diesel consumption of 2,200 liters during the course of the pilot, compared to a conventional refueling vehicle.

The introduction of the refueler saw Shell Aviation working with Esterer, a leading manufacturer of aircraft refuelers. Developed by Esterer with input from Shell Aviation, the electric refueling system allows the vehicle’s diesel engine to be switched off during refueling, reducing CO2 emissions at the point of use by lowering diesel consumption. Noise and particulate emissions on the aircraft stand are also reduced, due to the diesel engine running for less time compared to a conventional refueler.

“With more than 40 years of experience and a long-term partnership with Shell Aviation, we at Esterer are very proud of this development which introduces the worldwide first electrical refueling system,” said Julia Esterer, managing director and owner of Esterer. “Reducing emissions from ground operations is a priority for the aviation industry, and this technology will help deliver significant benefits in terms of reducing fumes and noise emissions.”

With 250 road tankers and 100 aircraft refuelers per year, Esterer is one of the leading manufacturers for aircraft refuelers in the world.

“Innovative technologies such as this have potential to deliver significant emissions savings across our refueling processes. We are pleased to be partnering with Shell Aviation on this pilot and look forward to seeing the results,” said Walter Schoefer, management spokesman of Stuttgart Airport.

Located in one of Europe’s strongest economic regions, the airport is a major provider of mobility for people and businesses in Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Following the pilot of the electric pump refueler at Stuttgart Airport, Shell Aviation will assess opportunities to deploy the technology across its extensive refueling network.

 Shell Aviation is a leading global supplier of aviation fuels and lubricants. It supplies fuel at around 850 airports in 32 countries, refueling an aircraft every 14 seconds on average.