VARO to invest USD600 million in Rotterdam SAF facility
Photo courtesy of VARO Energy

VARO to invest USD600 million in Rotterdam SAF facility

VARO Energy, a leading energy company headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, has unveiled its ambitious plan to channel a whopping USD600 million into the construction of a state-of-the-art sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The facility, located at the Gunvor Energy Rotterdam site, will be entirely owned by VARO. It’s designed with a state-of-the-art pretreatment unit, ensuring flexibility in renewable feedstock and optimal production. The plant is projected to have a feedstock capacity of 350 kilotonnes (kt) per annum, producing 245 kt of SAF annually, along with a mix of bio-naphtha and bio-propane.

The aviation industry, a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, is in dire need of sustainable solutions. SAF, derived from waste and renewable biomass, presents a promising low-carbon alternative. VARO’s investment aims to support the aviation sector’s decarbonisation efforts by supplying the necessary SAF to meet their environmental targets.

Earlier this year, VARO had announced a partnership with Lufthansa, signaling their commitment to the aviation industry’s green transition. SAF, compatible with current aircraft and fuel logistics infrastructure, can offer up to 90% greenhouse gas savings, making it a pivotal solution for the aviation sector’s carbon footprint.

The International Energy Agency predicts a surge in European jet fuel demand by more than 20% in the next five years. VARO’s SAF facility, strategically located in Rotterdam, is poised to cater to this growing demand. The facility’s proximity to major markets, port infrastructure, wastewater treatment, and existing transportation networks ensures efficient SAF production and distribution.

Production at the Rotterdam SAF facility is slated to begin by the fourth quarter of 2026. In a scenario of European SAF demand hitting 3.5 metric tonnes (mtpa), this manufacturing facility alone could provide up to 7% of the EUโ€™s 2030 SAF mandated target of 5% by 2030.

Dev Sanyal, CEO of VARO, expressed his enthusiasm about the project, emphasising its significance in VARO’s transformation strategy. “This investment not only strengthens our position in Europe’s biofuels sector but also provides a sustainable solution for our airline partners,” he said.