Johnson Matthey (JM) disclosed that DG Fuels has opted for its Fischer Tropsch (FT) CANS technology for its maiden sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production plant in Louisiana. Developed alongside bp, JM’s technology is set to be deployed on a scale seven times greater than any preceding project.

DG Fuels has emerged as a noteworthy entity aiming to make strides in the renewable hydrogen sector, specifically in synthetically producing SAF and diesel. The impending $4 billion plant anticipates a yearly output of 600,000 metric tons (MT) of SAF in its full operational capacity, setting a precedent as the largest declared SAF producing facility employing a non-HEFA route. Moreover, DG Fuels envisions constructing an additional ten SAF-producing plants, patterned after their Louisiana project, with JM and bp as the preferred technology associates.

The Louisiana plant will reportedly generate its fuel from waste biomass, with a projected expenditure of $120 million per annum on sugar cane waste, a significant portion of which will be sourced from local farmers. The FT CANS technology, which converts the resulting synthesis gas into synthetic crude, will be employed as the final process to deliver synthetic kerosene. This kerosene will consequently be amalgamated with traditional jet fuel to manufacture SAF.

This specialized blend, however, necessitates a pairing with fossil kerosene of up to 50% to yield “drop-in SAF” as per international certification norms. The plant’s envisioned production capacity promises to meet the fuel requirements of more than 30,000 transatlantic flights in a year, relatively 3% of the regular traffic in that route.

DG Fuels foresees commencing the facility’s production by 2028, while lucrative offtake agreements have been formalized with major airlines, including long-term contracts with Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines. Additionally, a beneficial association with Airbus is in place to promote SAF’s global availability on an extensive scale.

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