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 SINOPEC and TotalEnergies to Develop SAF Unit in China


SINOPEC and TotalEnergies to Develop SAF Unit in China

TotalEnergies and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC) have signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) to jointly develop a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production unit at a SINOPEC’s refinery in China.

The planned unit, jointly owned by SINOPEC and TotalEnergies, will have the capacity to produce 230,000 tons of SAF per year, through the Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) process, the new facility will refine cooking oils and animal fats with the target of producing 230,000 tons of SAF annually.

SINOPEC has developed its own SAF production technology “SRJET” and attained certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in September 2022. “SRJET” is made from used cooking oil at Zhenhai Refinery in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, which has a capacity of producing 100,000 tons of the fuel a year.

The SAF from Zhenhai has primarily been used for Airbus delivery flights for aircraft coming out of the OEM’s final assembly line in Tianjin. In July 2023, Air China touted the first SAF usage on a commercial flight in China as it flew between Hangzhou and Beijing on a 10%-SAF fuel blend.

TotalEnergies, already one of Europe’s leading SAF producers, will bring its experience and expertise in the technical, operational and distribution fields.

Milestone Venture

Yongsheng Ma, SINOPEC Group Chairman, said that this milestone collaboration with TotalEnergies is in line with SINOPEC’s strategy in the development of low carbon solutions for China and the world. SINOPEC is committed to providing green and low-carbon energy solutions while improving quality and efficiency of its asset portfolio, he said.

Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, said that SINOPEC is a major player in the global refining industry, to produce sustainable aviation fuels and structure a SAF production chain in China.

“The development of sustainable aviation fuels is at the heart of our company’s transition strategy, as we strive to meet the aviation industry’s demand to reduce its carbon footprint. TotalEnergies has set itself a target of 1.5 million tons of annual SAF production by 2030,” he added.

According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), SAF could contribute around 65% of the reduction in emissions needed by aviation to reach net zero emissions by 2050. IATA’s expectation for overall renewable fuel production is expected to reach an estimated capacity of at least 69 billion litres (55 million tonnes) by 2028.

“This will require a massive increase in production in order to meet demand. The largest acceleration is expected in the 2030s as policy support becomes global, SAF becomes competitive with fossil kerosene, and credible offsets become scarcer,” IATA noted.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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