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Sustainability

BP aims to start producing green jet fuel in Australia by 2025

BP aims to start producing green jet fuel in Australia by 2025

BP sign is seen at a petrol station in south London. (Photo: Reuters/Dylan Martinez)

SYDNEY: BP is aiming to start producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Australia by 2025 after converting its oil refinery near Perth to produce renewable fuels, a senior executive of the British company said on Thursday (Jul 14).

The project is expected to cost "hundreds of millions" of dollars, BP's Asia Pacific vice president of low-carbon solutions, Lucy Nation, told Reuters.

BP has not disclosed what volume it plans to produce, but Nation said the output would depend on demand as the facility would be able to switch day-to-day between producing sustainable aviation fuel and biodiesel.

Its Kwinana plant is in Western Australia, a region dominated by the mining industry of which there is heavy demand for diesel for trucks.

"We're lucky at Kwinana in that we're able to reutilise some of the processing equipment, the utilities and we have tanks ready to go," Nation told a briefing on the sidelines of the Sydney Energy Forum, hosted by the Australian government and the International Energy Agency.

"So that helps us speed up and be somewhat less capital intensive. But it is still a very expensive investment," she said.

Air travel accounts for about 2 per cent of global carbon emissions. The industry is aiming to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, relying on SAF usage to rise from around 100m litres a year in 2021 to at least 449b litres a year within three decades - a massive challenge.

"It is really, really tough - not for the faint hearted," said Nation.

Australia has no SAF production so far and has no mandates for the fuel, unlike the European Union, which last week approved plans to require suppliers to blend a minimum of 2 per cent of SAF into their jet fuel from 2025, rising to 85 per cent in 2050.

BP's plant on the west coast and an A$500m (about US$338m) plant being built by private firm Oceania Biofuels on the east coast will be the country's first two SAF plants. Oceania's plant will be able to produce more than 350m litres per year of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel.

Nation, Qantas Airways and Boeing Co officials said the government needs to impose mandates or provide subsidies, tax breaks or a carbon pricing mechanism to spur development of the industry, which they said would be crucial to make long-haul travel affordable for Australians as the world shifts to green fuels.

Qantas and Airbus said last month that they would invest up to US$200m to accelerate the development of a SAF industry in Australia.

Source: Reuters/rc

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