ITOCHU to participate in a joint study for the establishment of a commercial-scale SAF production technology and the creation of a supply chain

August 30, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”), as a member of a consortium including JERA Co., Inc., Mitsubishi Power, Ltd., and Toyo Engineering Corporation, will jointly establish a commercial-scale production technology of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and create a supply chain of SAF in Japan integrating technologies of gasification of wood biomass and FT synthesis.*
This joint study envisages the speedy supply of biomass-derived aviation fuel to the domestic market, and focuses on the conditions, measures and technical issues with the support of Biojet Fuel Production Technology Development Project by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization. The duration of the joint study is for 4 years. We will conduct a feasibility study for first 2 years. Then we will move on preparation phase for a demonstration plant and the establishment for supply chain after evaluating the result of the feasibility study.

ITOCHU entered into a contract to import SAF for the Japanese market in 2020, and established a supply chain from the import facility of SAF to the airports together with quality management. Using such experience, ITOCHU, with its group affiliates, will also study marketing for by-products produced from the project through our business networks. Through this joint study, we will establish a complete supply chain, including feedstock procurement, production technology and product supply.

Main roles of each consortium member

ITOCHU Corporation Research into (i) supply logistic of SAF and by-products, and (ii) by-product markets
JERA Co., Ltd. Study of commercial-scale applications, applicable laws and regulations,
feedstock procurement, methods for mixing neat SAF and petroleum-derived jet fuels, SAF market research, business feasibility
Mitsubishi Power, Ltd. Basic design of commercial-scale gasification facilities
Toyo Engineering Corporation Basic design of commercial-scale FT synthesis (including distillation) facilities

One of the Basic Policies that ITOCHU has established in its medium-term management plan is "Enhancing our contribution to and engagement with the SDGs through business activities" and ITOCHU will continue to work to introduce renewable fuels to solve issues for the realization of a sustainable, carbon-free society.

  • *Gasification and FT synthesis technologies: The technology in which solid materials such as wood cellulose react with water vapor and a small amount of oxygen in a gasifier to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen (gasification), which are then synthesized into liquid hydrocarbons (fuel) in a FT reactor using a catalyst. (Fischer-Tropsch Process).