JX Nippon, Sumitomo launch major SAF project in Louisiana
Photo courtesy of Sumitomo Corporation

JX Nippon, Sumitomo launch major SAF project in Louisiana

JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation have embarked on a groundbreaking venture to establish a large-scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) project in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, U.S.A.

The initiative, named Louisiana Green Fuels, aims to transform woody biomass waste into renewable energy while capturing and storing carbon dioxide, positioning it as a pioneering effort in the fight against climate change.

The project is set to develop a production facility capable of generating 32 million gallons of SAF annually, with renewable naphtha as a byproduct, by 2029. It incorporates a unique process that converts biomass waste into synthesis gas, subsequently synthesised into SAF and renewable naphtha. Moreover, an on-site biomass-fired power plant equipped with a CO2 capture and storage facility will address emissions from the project, leading to a “deeply negative” carbon footprint—equivalent to removing nearly 300,000 passenger cars from the road each year.

In February 2024, Sumitomo, via its subsidiary Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA), entered into a joint development agreement (JDA) with Strategic Biofuels. Concurrently, JX Nippon Oil Exploration (U.S.A.) Limited (NOEX USA), a subsidiary of JX, will collaborate with SCOA to form a consortium named Magnolia Sustainable Energy Partners (M-SEP). This new entity will oversee management and investment activities for the project. They aim to leverage various U.S. government incentives, including the Inflation Reduction Act and the Department of Energy’s Title 17 Clean Energy Financing Program, to facilitate this development.

The collaboration also plans to explore further opportunities in direct air capture and other carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) technologies, enhancing both companies’ commitment to sustainable energy solutions.

“JX is excited to join this journey with Strategic Biofuels and Sumitomo, who possess remarkable technical, project management, business, and financing expertise and leadership, to jointly lead this project to a success leveraging on our expertise in CCS built at Petra Nova CCUS project and other projects,” said Toshiya Nakahara, president, and CEO of JX.

“Together with Japanese companies possessing unique technologies, experiences, and knowledge in the decarbonisation field, we will provide various functions and values not only in terms of funding but also in collaboration with public and private stakeholders in both Japan and the United States, contributing to the success of the project,” said Koji Aso, managing executive officers of Sumitomo/Head of Energy Innovation Initiative.

“Our group has designated the United States, the world’s largest consumer of jet fuel, as one of the focus regions for our SAF business, and will contribute to decarbonising the aviation industry through the expansion of the SAF supply chain by developing SAF production and sales businesses (including feedstocks for SAF) on a global scale, starting with this project,” Aso said.

The project is not only a significant step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing energy security but also expected to create about 150 direct jobs and stimulate additional indirect employment opportunities, thereby contributing to the local economy and improving the quality of life in the region.