A new feasibility study led by GrainCorp and IFM Investors will explore the potential of establishing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facilities around Australia.

The study will examine the use of agricultural feedstocks to produce SAF, which will then contribute to the decarbonisation of the industry.

Global institutional investment manager IFM and GrainCorp said Australia’s agricultural capability and land availability provide a competitive advantage against other countries.

GrainCorp is one of the largest processors of renewable feedstocks in Australia and New Zealand.

A recent CSIRO report found Australia has enough feedstock, which includes water and residues, crop-based oils, and bio-organics, to produce approximately five billion litres of SAF, and supply 50 per cent of forecast jet fuel demand in 2025.

IFM Investors global head of asset management Danny Elia said the SAF feasibility study is significant as Australia is consistently in the top ten consumers of aviation fuel around the world.

“As Australia’s largest infrastructure investor and certainly the largest investor in airports … we’ve just seen a need to do more in the sector and facilitate what is really a scope three emission for our airport investments,” Mr Elia said.

“We are near a well of significant feedstock sources that we’re not tapping into and it makes no economic or environmental sense ultimately to send product overseas.”

Mr Elia said the feasibility study would consider the potential of a first SAF plant somewhere along the east coast.

The plant would be producing 720,000 metric tonnes of renewable fuels a year.

“We are heavily involved in a lot of energy transition discussions and activities ourselves and it’s really important to find safe and immediate steps to get the ball moving in this industry,” Mr Elia said.

“We’re pretty confident the approach we’re taking on this is both from a sustainability perspective, incredibly balanced, and mature.”

GrainCorp chief executive Robert Spurway discussed the growing demand for sustainable aviation fuel in Australia.

“We have a significant opportunity to be at the forefront of global feedstock and renewable fuel supply,” Mr Spurway said.

“For GrainCorp, this is an opportunity to help build a valuable new domestic market for Australian farmers and feedstock producers.”

“We are excited to participate in this initiative with IFM Investors and look forward to finding effective ways to help reduce carbon emissions in the aviation industry.”

The International Air Transport Association has estimated that SAF could contribute up to 65 per cent of the emissions reductions required for the global aviation sector to reach net zero by 2050.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/graincorp-and-ifm-study-potential-of-sustainable-aviation-fuel-industry-in-australia/news-story/5394d7872307e0f6eb73d808b774c59c