Thai firm doubling production of sustainable aviation fuel


Energy Absolute, a Thai renewable energy and electric vehicle firm, is doubling its production of sustainable aviation fuel to 130 tons a day as more airlines are switching to biofuels in hopes of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent.

It is a significant move to address a challenge in the fight against global warming – the damaging effects upon Earth’s atmosphere from air travel emissions. Energy Absolute’s decision fits neatly into two Thai policy goals: becoming an advanced aviation and aerospace hub and meeting net-zero commitments under the Paris Climate Accords.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) can reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically depending on the ingredients and technologies used in production. SAF can be made from a range of materials including cooking oil and agricultural waste.

The European Commission has proposed that at least 2 percent of jet fuel should come from sustainable sources by 2025, and more than 60 percent by 2050.

Energy Absolute’ SAF is an offshoot of its commodity-grade biodiesel, which it has produced for almost two decades.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that several Asia-Pacific carriers have begun buying limited amounts of SAF, including Korean Air, ANA, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Cebu Pacific.

Other Thai firms are also considering producing sustainable aviation fuels. Global Green Chemicals Plc, the biochemical subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical, said earlier this year the company is conducting a feasibility study on the production of SAF. While Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services, a listed company, teamed up with sugar producer Mitr Phol to study whether a plan to produce SAF is feasible.

Also, energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation said last year that it had formed a joint venture to produce SAF from used cooking oil to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Bangchak’s SAF production facility is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2024.