Cosmo Oil, Mitsui study LanzaJet technology to establish ethanol-based SAF manufacturing in Japan
Cosmo Oil Co. Ltd. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. have agreed to carry out a collaborative study using industry-leading technology from LanzaJet Inc. in preparation for the establishment of a biofuel production facility to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and establish a new business in Japan.
The new business will combine Cosmo’s track record of safe and stable plant operations, jet fuel quality management, and trading operations in the oil refining business, with Mitsui’s ethanol procurement capabilities and LanzaJet’s proprietary SAF technology, in order to establish a reliable SAF supply chain and create new business in the growing biofuels sector.
Cosmo and Mitsui aim to establish large-scale domestic SAF production operations at Cosmo refineries, using LanzaJet’s proprietary alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology.
“LanzaJet’s ATJ process is a highly efficient technology that can produce up to 90 percent of its product as SAF and convert nearly all of the carbon from the ethanol to hydrocarbon products,” Cosmo Oil stated, adding that ATJ technology was developed by LanzaJet, in which Mitsui has invested.
Demand for SAF is expected to expand rapidly because of its potential to reduce CO2 emissions by the aviation industry, and commercial production has started in a number of countries.
Japan will also need to realize large-scale production capacity for and stable supply of SAF to achieve a government target of replacing 10 percent of aviation fuel used by airlines with SAF by 2030.
To resolve these issues, Cosmo and Mitsui plan to produce and supply more than 58 million gallons of SAF in Japan annually by fiscal 2027 through this project.
The two companies will also explore the possibility of each year selling nearly 5.3 million gallons of renewable diesel, which is a coproduct of SAF production, as a fuel for transport vehicles, trucks, heavy equipment, and other machinery used at airports.
Cosmo and Mitsui have both identified the expansion of business that helps to address climate change as a major priority.
The two companies see SAF manufacturing as a medium- to long-term business opportunity and will continue to contribute to the decarbonization of the aviation industry and the reliable supply of low-carbon fuels by continually expanding their SAF manufacturing operations in Japan, and by pursuing switching to domestic production of ethanol feedstock in the future.