Qantas and Shell Australia collaborated to undertake a feasibility study into Australian feedstock (material that can be processed into biofuel) and refining capacity to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) has been identified as the best way for the aviation industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce fuel costs and diversify supply.
Australia has the skills, resources and infrastructure to take a lead in developing a SAF industry, which has the potential to deliver significant environmental, economic and social benefits, particularly in regional Australia.
The study identified the conditions required to establish an Australian SAF industry including the technical, financial, economic/market, infrastructure and regulatory requirements. It also investigated the opportunity to use existing refining plant and fuel redistribution infrastructure for SAF production.
The scope of the study is limited to the two SAF production methods approved by ASTM International, an international standards organisation that develops technical standards. These are the FT (Fischer-Tropsch) and HEFA (hydro-processed natural oils) production methods.
The study also explores opportunities for Australia in relations to energy production methods which are expected to be ASTM certified in the near future.
The CSIRO has estimated that a SAF industry in Australia could generate up to 12,000 jobs over the next 20 years, especially in rural and regional areas.
The project represents a significant collaboration between an airline and a refining company to undertake detailed analysis of producing commercial supply of SAF in Australia.
SAF produced in large volumes and at a similar price to conventional jet fuel will deliver significant environmental and economic benefits and a new green industry that has the potential to help boost Australia’s export competitiveness.