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Global oil and gas multinational Royal Dutch Shell is proposing to build a biofuels plant in Singapore to meet the region’s rising demand for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), Reuters reported the company’s head of downstream business as saying on 24 November.

The proposed 550,000 tonnes/year project at Singapore’s Bukom Island could produce SAF to supply major Asian hubs such as Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore’s Changi Airport, Shell downstream director Huibert Vigenovo was quoted as saying.

“Many of the airlines are keen to talk to us,” he said. “I see a lot of growth in sustainable aviation fuel.”

Following discussions with Asian airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Nippon Airlines, Vigenovo said that rising SAF demand was not limited to Europe or the USA.

As part of its bid to move away from fossil fuels, Shell was also building an 820,000 tonnes/year biofuels plant in Rotterdam, Netherlands, according to the report, and was working with European airline KLM to test the blending of synthetic fuels.

Globally, Shell aimed to produce about 2M tonnes/year of SAF by 2025, Reuters wrote.

However, SAF accounts for less than 0.1% of today’s global jet fuel demand, according to the report.

The proposed biofuels plant in Singapore would also have flexibility to produce renewable diesel and bionaphtha feedstock for petrochemicals, Vigenovo said.

As part of its transition to low-carbon fuel production, Shell had closed a crude distillation unit at Bukom, which had reduced its refining capacity by half, Vigenovo said.