Satorp has received the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification to produce SAF, allowing it to respond to an expected rise in demand in Saudi Arabia, the company said on Tuesday.
The project will support TotalEnergies in its push to produce 1.5 million tonnes of SAF a year by 2030.
“Sustainable aviation fuel is essential to reducing the carbon dioxide 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,” said Francois Good, senior vice president responsible for refining and petrochemicals in Africa, the Middle East and Asia at TotalEnergies.
SAF, which refers to alternative fuels made from renewable sources that are used to power aircraft, is crucial for the global aviation industry to reach its net-zero goal by 2050.
However, its adoption is still in the early stages due to small-scale production and its higher cost, compared with conventional fuel.
The International Air Transport Association estimates that SAF could contribute about 65 per cent of the reduction in emissions needed by the aviation industry to reach its net-zero emissions aim by the middle of the century.
In 2021, the world's airlines pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2050 – bringing the air transport industry in line with the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
As part of its Vision 2030 strategy to diversify from oil, Saudi Arabia is seeking to attract more tourists and turn the country into a logistics hub.
It has set a goal for the tourism sector to contribute 10 per cent to gross domestic product by 2030, up from 3 per cent in 2019.
To reach its goals, the kingdom is investing billions of dollars to modernise its airports and buy new planes to improve its air transport connectivity.