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Repsol makes Spain's first batch of biojet from waste at Bilbao


Previous SAF production made from biomass

Part of Repsol's plans to ramp up synthetic fuels

EU proposing major boost for SAF by 2050

Repsol has produced a batch of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at its Petronor refining site in Bilbao, the Spanish company said Aug. 25, marking the country's first SAF made from waste as a raw material.

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The batch of 5,300 mt of SAF will avoid 300 mt carbon emissions, the equivalent of 40 flights between Madrid and Bilbao, Repsol said.

Repsol has already produced SAF made from biomass earlier from its Puertollano and Tarragona refining plants.

"The company is transforming its industrial complexes and adapting its processes to use waste as a raw material to produce fuels and other products with a low, zero, or even a negative carbon footprint," Repsol said in a statement. "In this way, it is using the circular economy as a fundamental tool for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050."

Although currently almost four times more costly than conventional jet fuel, European refiners have launched a raft of SAF projects in recent years, spurred on by EU mandates to boost biofuel blending volumes in the trading bloc. In July, the European Commission proposed a minimum target of 2% SAF blend in aviation fuel starting in 2025, rising to 68% by 2050.

Platts assessed SAF in Northwest Europe at $2,192.616/mt on Aug. 24, compared with $599.250/mt for an FOB cargo of conventional jet fuel.

Repsol is planning to plan to build a plant at Bilbao to produce net-zero emission synthetic fuel based on green hydrogen generated with renewable energy. The first phase, costing Eur60 million ($71 million), could be ready by 2024 and should produce 50 b/d of synthetic fuel, which can then be scaled up. A second phase, costing Eur20 million, will involve the building of a plant to generate gas to feed the refinery from urban waste.

Overall, the company is targeting the production of 1.3 million mt of sustainable biofuels in 2025 and more than 2 million mt in 2030 under low carbon transition plans.

Of the new production total, up to 250,000 mt/year will be from an advanced biofuels plant at its Cartagena refinery in Spain; up to 130,000 mt/year will be methanol supplied from its waste pyrolysis plant in Bilbao,