Sinopec, Total to build sustainable aviation fuel plant

Chinese state-owned Sinopec, opens new tab and French oil major TotalEnergies, opens new tab have signed an agreement to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a statement released by Sinopec said.

The companies will jointly build and operate a SAF unit at one of Sinopec’s refineries in China, with an annual production capacity of 230,000 metric tons per year, the statement said.

Burning SAF can reduce CO2 emissions by around 80% versus traditional jet fuel, according to data cited by Airbus.

The European Union is set to introduce a blending mandate requiring airports to supply jet fuel at 2% SAF blends from 2025. In the U.S., the Biden administration has introduced tax credits for SAF production under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Total has announced a target of 1.5 million tons of annual SAF production by 2030.

The SAF facility will run on used cooking oil (UCO) as a feedstock. China is the world’s largest producer of UCO, generating around 11.4 billion litres annually, according to data cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sinopec currently operates a 100,000 ton per year SAF refinery in Zhenhai, in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

However, Beijing has not rolled out policies – such as subsidies or blending mandates – to support SAF consumption in its domestic aviation market, and most feedstock and biofuel products are exported.

Tags: Sinopec, Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Total
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