ITOCHU Announces It Is the First in Japan to Import Neat Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) And Build a Supply Chain for SAF Blended with Jet Fuel

Beginning to Supply SAF Blended in Japan at Three Airports Including Central Japan International Airport

March 30, 2023

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it completed the delivery of sustainable aviation fuel (hereinafter “SAF”) to Central Japan International Airport and started supplying the fuel to flight testers owned by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s Civil Aviation Bureau as the supplier of SAF in the Imported Neat SAF Model Demonstration Project (hereinafter the “Project”) advanced by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s Civil Aviation Bureau. In the Project, ITOCHU established a domestic blending supply chain by importing neat SAF for the first time in Japan from Neste OYJ (headquartered in Finland; Matti Lehmus, President and CEO; hereinafter “Neste”) in cooperation with Fuji Oil Company, Ltd. (headquartered in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; Shigeto Yamamoto, President; hereinafter, “Fuji Oil”). Following Haneda Airport and Narita Airport, ITOCHU has started supplying SAF at a third airport, Central Japan International Airport. Through this project, SAF blended in Japan is supplied to All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Shinichi Inoue, Representative Director, President and CEO; hereinafter, “ANA”), Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; Yuji Akasaka, Representative Director, President; hereinafter, “JAL”) and other domestic and foreign commercial airlines at these three airports.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) set the goal of achieving net-zero CO2 emissions from international flight operations by 2050 at its conference. Additionally, a 15% reduction from the 2019 level will be required from 2024. It is expected that moves toward decarbonization in the civil aviation industry will accelerate and the amount of SAF distributed in Japan will increase in the future. Currently, SAF is produced mainly in Europe, and the amount of SAF is limited. Medium- to long-term commercial production of SAF in Japan and enhancement of domestic supply chains for imported SAF through government-industry cooperation are considered to be important for the realization of a stable SAF supply in Japan.

At present, the SAF supplied to aircraft must be produced by blending fossil-derived jet fuel with neat SAF at a certain ratio* following the ASTM D7566 and D1655 international standards. ITOCHU has been importing and supplying SAF blended overseas. In the Project, ITOCHU will be the first in Japan to import neat SAF and build a domestic supply chain blending it with fossil-derived jet fuel and transporting it to an airport, thereby gaining expertise in the handling of neat SAF in Japan. Going forward, ITOCHU will develop a foundation for the commercialization of domestically produced SAF as quickly as possible.

One of the basic policies of ITOCHU's medium-term management plan is to "contribute to and strengthen initiatives for the SDGs. By increasing the market penetration of renewable fuels in cooperation with leading partners, we will continue to contribute to the realization of a recycling-oriented society.

  • Neat SAF is a jet fuel produced from biomass raw materials and others. It needs to be blended with fossil-derived jet fuel at a certain ratio before being put into aircraft. There is an upper limit to the amount of neat SAF permitted to be blended with fossil-derived jet fuel, which is determined based on the raw materials and production method. The upper limit of SAF from Neste is 50%.
    The conformance of neat SAF and blended SAF to the ASTM D7566 international standard for SAF and the ASTM D1655 international standard for jet fuels needs to be confirmed.

Reference: ITOCHU Announces Adoption of the “Imported Neat SAF Model Demonstration Project” dated November 1, 2022