InvestSarawak, Marubeni ink MoU for commercial-scale aviation fuel


Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: InvestSarawak and Japan-based Marubeni Corp are conducting a joint pre-feasibility study for a commercial scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) value chain in Sarawak.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) inked by both parties here last week, the goal is to confirm the feasibility of producing SAF using biomass feedstock and assess the potential technology pathways for SAF production in Sarawak.

The collaboration will focus on investigating biomass feedstock availability, technology pathways and market demand, assessing expenditure requirements, identifying suitable project sites and exploring opportunities for government subsidies and incentives in Malaysia and globally.

“Both parties aim to establish a commercial-scale SAF value chain for local consumption or export by 2030,” according to InvestSarawak,a new agency under the Sarawak’s International Trade, Industry and Investment Ministry.

InvestSarawak serves as one-stop centre dedicated to attracting investments that align with Sarawak’s vision for 2030 in sustainability and growth.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, who witnessed the MoU signing, had said last year that Sarawak has the capacity to produce SAF from microalgae for commercial use, and that SAF is crucial for the aviation industry’s effort to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

He said Sarawak has taken steps to explore microalgae as a potential source of renewable energy with two facilities cultivating algae in the state.

The first facility is a collaboration between Sarawak Energy Bhd, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, Eneos Corp and Chitose Group from Japan at Sejingkat here, while the second facility is a collaboration between SEDC Energy and Petroliam Nasional Bhd in Demak Laut here.

According to Abang Johari, there are plans to scale up the cultivation of 1,000 acres of algae that can, according to scientists, produce about 500,000 tonnes per annum of crude algae oil or renewable oil.

That can be equated to about 10,000 barrels of oil per day with about 37% extraction rate of crude algae oil from algae biomass.

And in his keynote address on Sarawak Towards Sustainable Energy at the Future Energy Asia 2024 event in Bangkok last Friday, Abang Johari reiterated the promising prospects in the production of SAF in Sarawak.

“In harnessing the power of hydrogen in conjunction with renewable resources like algae oil, we can create a cleaner, greener alternative to conventional jet fuel, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of air travel,” he added.

InvestSarawak chief executive officer Timothy Ong said Marubeni’s extensive experience and global network will be instrumental in realising Sarawak’s ambition to be a global player in the SAF market.

Marubeni’s Energy & Infrastructure Solution Group CEO Yoshiaki Yokota said his company is committed to leveraging its expertise and resources to create a successful SAF value chain in Sarawak, which will contribute to decarbonising the aviation industry.

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InvestSarawak , Marubeni Corp , MoU ,

   

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