Jan Toschka named CEO of Sasol-Topsoe SAF joint venture
Photo courtesy of Sasol

Jan Toschka named CEO of Sasol-Topsoe SAF joint venture

Chemicals heavyweight Sasol Ltd. and hydrogen solutions firm Haldor Topsoe A/S have appointed Jan Toschka as chief executive officer of their recently formed sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) joint venture targeting air transport decarbonisation.

Parent companies Sasol and Topsoe announced the finalised joint collaboration last June to leverage both groups’ emissions-reducing technologies, project development capabilities and industry reach, accelerating lower-carbon fuel integration.

The newly named chief executive Toschka, who starts March 1, 2024, brings more than two decades of executive experience across Shell’s global aviation fuel supply and marketing units including strategic account leadership. Previous oversight responsibilities covered sales, trading, retail and merger and acquisition activities.

In a statement, Sasol Chief Executive Fleetwood Grobler called Toschka a respected aviation industry authority deeply familiar with current climate challenges and opportunities. Topsoe CEO Roeland Baan similarly cited the CEO-designateโ€™s background ideally suited for the pioneering venture’s launch phase focus on deploying first SAF production at scale rapidly.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, the joint venture holds a mission helping aviation shrink its nearly 3% industry emissions share to advance climate targets. It will concentrate initially on facilitating project development, ownership and product flow into growing carrier demand for certified SAF blending supply.

Sasol and Topsoe said Toschka’s commercial orientation emphasises customer-centric partnerships and solutions critical in tackling sustainability issues around carbon-intensive sectors like air travel collectively. His experience bridges both established and emerging markets throughout aviation subsectors.

The joint venture will likely target early integration efforts in Europe and North America. But global potential remains substantial long term.

Sasol’s particular interest in sustainable kerosene stems from its existing fuels and chemicals footprint around Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquids (GTL) plus bio-jet fuel expertise and production pathways seeking increased renewable inputs. For Topsoe, the major play expands market monetization avenues for its proprietary decarbonisation technologies like green hydrogen electrolysis.

Aviation industry groups continue pressing for government support closing SAF cost gaps versus conventional jet fuel, which discourages voluntary adoption. Sector leaders say committed investment into sustainable jet matching projected growth is non-negotiable to meeting collective net zero 2050 aspirations.