Stronger incentives required for SAF adoption in Asia

Stronger incentives required for SAF adoption in Asia

Simon Angell, senior vice president at KBC, delivered the opening presentation at F+L Week 2024 on March 7. The renowned annual conference in the fuels and lubricants industry took place at the Intercontinental Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Jet fuel is responsible for 1.9% of global carbon emissions. Achieving aggressive decarbonisation in the aviation industry necessitates widespread adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2050. Angell emphasised that even though SAF is not entirely carbon neutral, it significantly reduces lifecycle emissions by up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel.

Strong government mandates and incentives are driving SAF investments in the United States and Europe. Angell indicated the need for similar incentives to accelerate SAF adoption in Asia. During his address, Angell outlined current SAF adoption efforts in various Asian countries.

Although specific policies governing SAF are yet to be established, India is actively working on plans to mandate the use of 1% SAF for domestic airlines by 2025, says Angell. In China, the 14th Five-Year Plan includes a targeted consumption of 50,000 tons of SAF by 2025, although it is not a mandatory requirement. Starting from 2026, Singapore will introduce a 1% SAF requirement.

By 2030, Japan aims to mandate the use of 10% SAF for all international flights departing from Japanese airports. Thailand has set a goal of 5% SAF in overall fuel consumption during the same period. Notably, Thailand established its first company producing SAF from used cooking oil in 2022.

A SAF offtake agreement has been signed between the Malaysian Aviation Group and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), marking a significant step toward making SAF production available at a commercial scale in Malaysia.

Angell noted that hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) will continue to dominate SAF production in the near term. Securing a reliable feedstock supply is of critical importance in advancing sustainable aviation fuel initiatives, he says.