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Sulzer to provide technology for world-scale SAF plant in Malaysia

Sulzer to provide technology for world-scale SAF plant in Malaysia
Photo courtesy of Sulzer

Sulzer Chemtech, a global leader in fluid engineering headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland, will support Vandelay Ventures Sdn Bhd in the construction of a world-scale production facility for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and renewable diesel in Sabah, Malaysia. 

In February 2022, Suria Capital Holdings Berhad and Vandelay Ventures Sdn Bhd signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the Sabah Maju Jaya Renewable Energy Industrial Complex at Sapangar Bay, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Estimated investment in the SAF facility is MYR700 million (USD154 million).

Suria Capital Holdings Berhad is the parent company of Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd, the state’s main port operator, which will provide the necessary port facilities to support the downstream activities and the import and export of raw and finished products for this project.

Under the agreement, Sulzer Chemtech, in cooperation with Duke Technologies LLC, will provide its BioFlux® licensed technology, basic engineering packages (BEP) and technical services to the SMJREIC facility. These will enable the hydrotreatment of bio-based feedstocks and their selective conversion into high-quality sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel.

The BioFlux technology is a cost-effective, energy- and resource-efficient solution for the production of more sustainable fuels and can reduce carbon intensity by up to 11%, compared to conventional hydrotreating units.

With an expected capacity of 250,000 tonnes, SMJREIC will be able to play a key role in driving the adoption of SAF in the aviation industry in Malaysia. It will be the first facility of its kind in Malaysia. The project is targeted to be completed by 2025.

The project aims to develop the Malaysian state of Sabah into a processing hub for Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO), with a capacity of 250,000 metric tons per annum, from used cooking oil, waste animal fat and other industrial and agricultural residual products. The zone will also house the first Palm Oil Refinery Complex with a capacity of 100,000 MT per annum to cater to the West Coast and Interior Division (WCID) of Sabah. Malaysia is the world’s second largest producer of palm oil.

“With our renewable fuels complex we aim to drive the decarbonization of the transportation as well as the manufacturing industries. We can achieve this with Sulzer Chemtech’s leading technology and expertise, as BioFlux will help us use more sustainable feedstocks at a large scale as well as minimize the environmental impact of biofuel production,” said Haji Mohamed Mohar, CEO at Vandelay Ventures Sdn Bhd.

“This is a truly ambitious project, and we are proud to be part of it to open the door to a net-zero carbon energy future. We look forward to leveraging our BioFlux technology and engineering capabilities to support one of the largest, low-carbon renewable fuels plants in South-East Asia,” said Sander van Donk, global business unit head for Clean Fuels and Chemicals Licensing at Sulzer Chemtech.