Biofuel factory aims to slash emissions

Biofuel factory aims to slash emissions

Chaiwat Kovavisarach, group chief executive of Bangchak Corporation Plc, expects good business prospects for SAF sales due to concerns over carbon dioxide emitted by fossil-derived fuel used by aircraft. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Chaiwat Kovavisarach, group chief executive of Bangchak Corporation Plc, expects good business prospects for SAF sales due to concerns over carbon dioxide emitted by fossil-derived fuel used by aircraft. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Thailand's first factory to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from used cooking oil will begin operating in early 2025.

The output from the factory -- operated by energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation Plc -- aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the aviation industry.

The SAF project is being pushed ahead as the Department of Airports and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) conduct a joint study on biofuel usage.

"We expect to install machines and necessary equipment at our SAF production facility soon," Chaiwat Kovavisarach, group chief executive of Bangchak, told a forum "Regenerative Fuels: Sustainable Mobility," held yesterday by the corporation.

SAF can replace jet fuel because their properties are similar, while the former has a smaller carbon footprint.

Bangchak's oil refinery facility in Bangkok's Phra Khanong district. The firm is building a sustainable aviation fuel production plant near the refinery. Bangchak Corporation.

This type of biofuel, which can be made from used cooking oil and agricultural waste, produces up to 80% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional jet fuel, according to media reports citing various forecasts.

Mr Chaiwat said if SAF is used in the Thai aviation business, carbon dioxide emissions from the industry could be cut by 80,000 tonnes a year.

The 10-billion-baht SAF factory, with a proposed production capacity of 1 million litres a day, is being built near Bangchak's oil refinery in Bangkok's Phra Khanong district.

Mr Chaiwat said that after the company's SAF project was unveiled, many companies had said they were eager to buy it.

He declined to name the companies, saying only they are in the aviation business and SAF purchase agreements are expected to be made in December.

The SAF business is one of Bangchak's various environmental, social and governance projects, which are expected to help the company achieve carbon neutrality, a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption, by 2030.

Bangchak also aims to use its SAF project to encourage the public to refrain from polluting the environment through improper disposal of used cooking oil or by repeatedly reusing it, which is harmful to their health, under a campaign "Fry to Fly", or tod mai ting in Thai.

People can sell their used cooking oil at designated Bangchak petrol stations.

Mr Chaiwat expects a good business prospect for SAF sales, following growing concerns over carbon dioxide emitted by fossil-derived fuel used by aircraft. Bangchak Corporation

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