TotalEnergies “Investing Massively” to Scale Sustainable Aviation Fuel Capacity to 1.5 Million Tons by 2030
Energy giant TotalEnergies announced today a series of new targets to scale production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), including an expectation to reach capacity of 500,000 tons per year by 2028, and a goal to produce 1.5 million tons per year by 2030.
The company said that its new goals follow calls from its aviation customers to increase SAF production, and that it is “investing massively” to grow its capacity.
Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TotalEnergies, said:
“TotalEnergies is taking action to meet the strong demand from the aviation industry to reduce its carbon footprint.”
The announcements come as demand for SAF is expected to increase rapidly over the next several years.
Fuel accounts for the vast majority of the aviation sector’s emissions. Generally produced from sustainable resources, like waste oils and agricultural residues, SAF is seen as one of the key tools to help decarbonize the aviation industry. SAF producers estimate the fuels can result in lifecycle GHG emissions reductions of as much as 85% relative to conventional fuels. Efforts to meaningfully increase the use of SAF by airlines face significant challenges, however, including the low supply currently available on the market, and prices well above those of conventional fossil-based fuels.
National efforts to address the climate impact of air travel are often focused on SAF, including the UK’s “Jet Zero” strategy to achieve net zero aviation by 2040, released last year, which targets the acceleration of SAF supply and demand as a key priority area.
More recently, EU lawmakers in the European Parliament and Council agreed on new rules this year mandating increased use of SAF at EU airports, starting a 2% in 2025, and increasing over time to reach 70% by 2050.
According to TotalEnergies, its production goals would allow the company to meet the requirements of the EU’s blending mandate by 2028, with its 2030 goal representing 10% of the world SAF market at that date.
The company outlined several of its SAF projects, including a €400 million investment to convert its Grandpuits refinery into a zero-oil platform capable of producing 210,000 tons of SAF per year as of 2025 and a 285,000 tons per year by 2027, plans to increase annual production of SAF made from cooking oil at its Gonfreville refinery to 40,000 tons from 2025, and a €340 million investment to convert its La Mède refinery into a biorefinery, with biodiesel from the plant already being used to produce SAF, and the company studying an investment to have the process at the biorefinery to process used cooking oil and animal fat to produce biofuels and SAF by coprocessing.
“Sustainable aviation fuel is essential to reducing the CO2 emissions of air transport, and its development is fully aligned with the Company’s climate ambition to get to net zero by 2050, together with society.”