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March 4, 2024

Joint venture will take SAF further, faster in the race to decarbonize aviation

In 2023, Topsoe signed a landmark agreement to establish a 50/50 joint venture with global energy leader Sasol. The new company will be operational in Q1 2024 and will produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) that will help accelerate the decarbonization of global aviation.  

With an increasing number of international policies, commitments and mandates supporting SAF, the aviation industry will be responding to the sustainability challenge. However, air travel still contributes to 2-3% of global CO2 emissions and, with a strong expectation that demand will keep rising, steps need to be taken to cut climate impact. 

The adoption of SAF will be a big contributor to lowering emissions in aviation. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) are expecting it to provide about 65% of the carbon mitigation needed by 2050. 

 Combining strengths to scale up SAF  

SAF production needs to ramp up significantly and quickly. In 2022, SAF production tripled but was still less than 0.1% of what is needed for 2050 net zero targets, according to IATA. It is important to note that airlines used every drop of SAF produced in 2022, highlighting the supply-side challenge.  

The Topsoe and Sasol joint venture will combine the two companies’ unique and complementary technologies, expertise and end-to-end capabilities to scale and accelerate SAF production. It will develop, build, own and operate SAF plants, as well as market SAF derived from non-fossil feedstock, using renewable energy, sustainable sources of CO2 and/or biomass.  

A joint venture built on decades of partnership  

Topsoe and Sasol have been strategic partners for more than 25 years, providing the perfect foundation for a successful joint venture, with Roeland Baan, Topsoe CEO, commenting: “We believe no one is better positioned than the company formed by Sasol and Topsoe to deliver the means to scale SAF production. This partnership is an important moment of progress at a critical time.” 

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