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  • Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd.

Idemitsu, BMRG and J-Oil Mills to study pongamia’s role in SAF supply chain, CO2 fixation

Pongamia trees, nuts and seeds, and oil (Photo: Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd.)

Burnett Mary Regional Group, Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. and J-Oil Mills Inc., in cooperation of the Queensland government in Australia, have agreed to jointly study the establishment of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chain by planting pongamia pinnata (Millettia pinnata) trees, a nonedible-oil feedstock, in Queensland for the purpose of CO2 fixation and securing plant materials through reforestation.

As a specific measure to reduce CO2 emissions in the aviation industry, there is a growing social demand to achieve a stable supply of SAF.

SAF is produced from nonfossil fuel-derived raw materials, and one of the challenges is to secure raw materials that are less competitive with food crops.

Pongamia pinnata is a legume that grows throughout Southeast Asia and Oceania and is nonedible with high oil yield efficiency. Thus, it is expected to be leveraged as an SAF feedstock.

On Feb. 1, Idemitsu and J-Oil Mills announced that they would jointly undertake a study on building a biomass business, including SAF production, plastic recycling, and biochemical utilization by securing biobased raw materials in order to achieve a circular economy.

As part of this effort, an agreement has been reached to initiate this study with BMRG, which is engaged in a wide range of natural-resource management in Queensland, including forestation, cultivation and harvesting.

The project will study the planting and management of pongamia pinnata trees, CO2 fixation and offsetting through planting, building an SAF supply chain—harvesting, separation of oil , transportation, and SAF production—and forest investment, aiming to start small-scale cultivation verification in Queensland by the end of this year.

BMRG is the peak body for natural-resource management within the Burnett Mary region in Queensland. Established in 2001, it is one of 54 national, not-for-profit regional bodies providing an essential link between the community and various programs procured by government and other funding sources. BMRG’s vision is “to protect and enhance the agricultural and natural environment of the Burnett Mary region for future generations.” To achieve its vision, BMRG has developed strong relationships with the Australian federal government, the Queensland government, local governments and others.

Idemitsu is working to implement diverse and environmentally friendly low-carbon energy, resource-saving, and circulation solutions in society while fulfilling its responsibility to provide a stable supply of energy, mainly fossil fuels including petroleum, under its 2030 and 2050 visions. As part of this plan, Idemitsu plans to establish a green supply chain for biomass-derived fuels and chemicals such as SAF, biodiesel and biochemicals by 2030. Additionally, while leveraging the business foundation that has been developed through coal-mining operations over the past 40 years in Australia, Idemitsu will continue to proactively contribute to Australia’s energy transition and create low-carbon and decarbonized businesses.

J-Oil Mills is developing a wide range of businesses centered on edible oil and fat products by extracting value from plant-derived raw materials in order to achieve its medium-term business plan. J-Oil Mills has also set a goal of becoming carbon neutral by reducing CO2 emissions by 50 percent compared to 2013 by 2030 (scopes 1 and 2) and 100 percent by 2050.



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