S-OIL becomes South Korea's first producer of certified SAF
Photo courtesy of S-OIL

S-OIL becomes South Korea’s first producer of certified SAF

S-OIL, a leading South Korean oil refinery, has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first domestic producer of CORSIA-certified sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), known as ‘K-SAF’. This achievement was marked by the simultaneous acquisition of three types of International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) – ISCC CORSIA, ISCC EU, and ISCC PLUS – from Control Union, a global certification agency.

The ISCC CORSIA certification officially recognises S-OIL’s production of sustainable aviation fuel that meets the international aviation sector’s standards for reducing carbon emissions. The ISCC EU certification aligns with the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) for the production of low-carbon fuel products, while ISCC PLUS certification endorses eco-friendly products in the voluntary market.

S-OIL’s K-SAF is produced by processing bio raw materials such as waste cooking oil and palm oil residue at its refining facilities. Since January 2024, this innovative production process has led to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by about 90% compared to conventional petroleum jet fuel. The company aims to significantly contribute to the decarbonisation of the aviation sector by maximizing the production of SAF.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN affiliate, has piloted the Carbon Offset and Reduction System for International Aviation (CORSIA) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Starting in 2027, CORSIA will become mandatory for all airlines worldwide, increasing the demand for SAF as a vital tool for decarbonisation.

“Obtaining this certification is S-OIL’s first step toward transforming into a clean energy supplier for sustainable growth, and we are developing biofuels and biofuels that can contribute to building a resource circulation structure in response to the global decarbonisation trend,” said S-OIL’s Strategy/Management President Ryu Yeol.

The company’s achievement is expected to boost the domestic biofuel industry and support the establishment of a circular economy. The ISCC EU certification will enable S-OIL to export biofuels to the European market, promoting sustainability and market expansion. Additionally, the ISCC PLUS certification will accelerate the production of resource-recycling chemical products.