Acceleration Towards Commercialization of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Production

Source: 1/29/2021, Location: Asia

JGC Holdings Corporation, Revo International Inc. and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. have been undertaking studies concerning the establishment of a commercial domestic supply chain for the production of next-generation aviation fuel [SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel)].

On this occasion, Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd. [hereinafter, Cosmo Oil] (President, Representative Director : Shunichi Tanaka, Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo) have joined the studies eyeing commercialization of this venture. Through the participation of Cosmo Oil with their extensive experience and knowhow in the production, storage and provision of aviation fuel, the plan to establish SAF production facilities by 2025 and proceed with the commercialization phase will receive a substantial boost.

1. Project Background
In a bid to respond to the increasingly urgent demand for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) decided in 2016 “to limit total CO2 emissions in the aviation industry” to 2020 levels, and with this aim it called for a CO2 emissions credit scheme for any increases above 2019 levels? and has also introduced CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) which calls for the development and stable supply of SAF produced from sources such as urban waste treatment, plant and animal oils, fuel from used cooking oil and biomass or off-gas from steel making plants or oil refineries.

In response, the use of SAF is already moving forward, especially in the US and Europe, while in Japan air carriers have begun obtaining SAF from overseas sources and the increasing use of SAF on the part of the aviation industry is seen as definite. On the other hand, with regard to the domestic production of SAF in Japan there are concerns about the production cost and the stability of supply and there is an urgent need to build up economical SAF production together with a stable supply chain.

?Changing the base year from 2020, “Amount in excess of the average CO2 emissions in the period 2019 and 2020” to “Amount in excess of the figure for 2019”.

2. Status of the Commercialization Study
In light of the above, the four companies, JHD, Revo International, JAPEX and Cosmo Oil are working toward the creation of conditions that will lead to the establishment of production facilities and a supply chain centered around emphasis on details including plans for obtaining the used cooking oil which serves as the raw material, the introduction of production processes successfully used in Europe and the US, gathering cost estimates for necessary production facilities, and a scheme for the transportation and sale of the product. The end users, the airline companies and related government agencies are engaged in promoting further cooperation. These business discussions are aimed at developing plans for the operation of SAF manufacturing plants and the commercialization of the use of the product by around 2025.

Looking to the future, the concept is to have SAF production facilities in various areas around the country in order to minimize costs and contribute to the growth of the domestic SAF market and envisage the creation of facilities and processes to produce SAF within existing refineries with the first step being a model facility that will demonstrate the viability of a domestic scheme.

The fuel used by aircraft has extremely high quality requirements and, as a refiner and a fuel marketer, Cosmo Oil with its knowledge and experience in the many steps involved in its use, from production to transportation and refueling, is a vital partner in the creation of an SAF supply chain and Cosmo Oil’s participation in the scheme represents an important step forward in its realization. The four companies are seeking to contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions and the building of a sustainable society through widening the scope of this project.

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