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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

New SAF blending and production projects unveiled in Japan


Shadow of plane flying over airport runway Photo: Neste
The Japanese government has set a target of replacing 10% of conventional jet fuel with sustainable aviation fuel by 2030

Photo: Neste

Neste, Itochu and Fuji Oil are collaborating on a project to demonstrate local blending of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Japan, while Idemitsu aims to pave the way for SAF production in the country with Axens’ alcohol-to-jet fuel process.

The Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) have selected Itochu Corporation for a project to demonstrate the blending of imported neat (ie unblended) SAF locally in Japan. They hope the project will help the country prepare for the future, when significantly larger quantities of SAF will be needed to help the aviation industry achieve its ambitious emissions reduction goals.


Itochu plans to import Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ in January 2023, to blend it with conventional fossil jet fuel in cooperation with Fuji Oil Company. A portion of the blended SAF will then be delivered to Chubu Centrair International Airport in February, for use in flight inspection aircraft owned by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau.


Neste and Itochu agreed a partnership for the distribution of Neste MY SAF in the Japanese market earlier this year. The fuel is already available at Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport, and there are plans to expand supply to Kansai International Airport and other airports in the future.


The Japanese government has set a target of replacing 10% of conventional jet fuel with SAF by 2030. ‘This demonstration project solicited by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau is an important step on the pathway towards realising that goal, as it demonstrates the blending of neat SAF with fossil jet fuel from a domestic refinery in Japan,’ comments Sami Jauhiainen, Vice President APAC, Renewable Aviation at Neste.


Neste is a world leading producer of SAF, with plans to increase its production capacity to 1.5mn t/y by the end of 2023. It is currently expanding its refinery in Singapore, which, once complete, will increase the company’s SAF production capacity to over 1mn t/y by the end of 1Q2023, ready to support the aviation industry in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.


Meanwhile, in related news, Idemitsu has selected Axens’ alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology for its first SAF project in Japan. The process uses either first generation (1G) or advanced (2G) bioethanol as feedstock, converting it to SAF via different steps. 1G bioethanol is produced from byproducts in the production of sugar, while 2G bioethanol is derived from surplus biomass and agricultural waste.