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Asia's sustainable aviation fuel projects and agreements

(Reuters) - Malaysian Aviation Group (MAG) has signed a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) offtake agreement with Petronas Dagangan, as part of efforts to develop the green fuel on a commercial scale in Malaysia, the two firms said on Friday.

SAF, referring to alternative fuels made from renewable sources that are used to power aircraft, is crucial for the aviation sector to reach its net zero goal by 2050, but its adoption remains in a nascent phase.

Following is a look at other SAF projects and agreements in the Asia-Pacific region.


Indian Oil Corp aims to set up a plant by 2026 to produce 87,000 tons per year (tpy) of SAF, at a cost of more than 15 billion rupees, its director for research and development SSV Ramakumar told Reuters last week.

India plans to mandate the use of 1% SAF for domestic airlines by 2025, oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri said last week, in a bid to cut emissions.


Singapore Airlines began a one-year SAF pilot program in July 2022, working with ExxonMobil and Neste. The companies blended 1,000 tons of neat SAF with jet fuel and supplied the oil to Singapore Airlines and Scoot flights at Changi Airport.

Finnish refiner Neste officially opened a second 1.3 million tpy renewable fuels plant in Singapore last week with the world's largest capacity to produce SAF.

Shell, however, recently shelved its planned biofuels project at its Bukom complex in Singapore.


On April 6, Airbus and the China National Aviation Fuel Group (CNAF) signed a memorandum of understanding to increase production and use of SAF.

Last October, an A320neo Airbus aircraft departed from Tianjin and landed in Xian using a 5% SAF blend, with SAF produced locally by Sinopec subsidiary Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co (Zhenhai Refining), the China Daily reported.


Eneos Holdings Inc agreed to study production of up to 500 million liters (3.1 million barrels) of SAF and renewable diesel per year jointly with Australian refiner Ampol.

Japan's top airlines All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) have expanded their SAF purchases by adding supplies from trading house Itochu Corp and U.S. producer Raven SR.

Other companies exploring SAF production in Japan include Mitsubishi Corp, Boeing, and TotalEnergies SE.

SAF is set to replace 10%, or 1.34 million kiloliters, of fuel used by Japanese airline companies by 2030, according to the Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute (JTTRI).


Cebu Pacific flew a plane from Singapore to Manila powered by a 35% SAF blend from Neste in September 2022.

The airline signed a long-term strategic partnership with Shell Eastern Petroleum to make SAF more widely available for its fleet via the supply and purchase of SAF in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, with an initial volume of at least 25 kilotons per year.


Qantas Group launched the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Coalition (SAF Coalition) in collaboration with Australia Post, KPMG Australia, Macquarie Group, the local arm of Boston Consulting Group and Woodside Energy on Nov. 11, 2022.

Qantas and Airbus SE will jointly invest $1.34 MM in a biofuel refinery being set up in Australia's Queensland state that would convert agricultural by-products into SAF.

The refinery is expected to produce up to 100 million liters of SAF a year, with construction due to start next year.

This is the first investment from a $200-MM fund Qantas and Airbus set up last June to kick off the SAF industry in Australia.

The airline expects about 10% of its fuel to come from SAF by 2030, and 60% by 2050.

Last November, Climate Leaders Coalition members Ampol, Brisbane Airport, Deloitte, Qantas and Viva Energy proposed the establishment of an East Coast SAF corridor in their Scope 3 Roadmap.

Australia's first Jet Zero-style council, modelled on the eponymous government-industry partnership for SAF production in Britain, is expected to hold its first meeting this financial year ending in June 2023, said a spokesperson from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

The council will complement the Aviation White Paper, which is expected to wrap up early 2024.

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