14 June 2024

GreenAir News

Reporting on aviation and the environment

Topsoe to supply Preem with SAF technology and appoints new CEO for JV with Sasol

Danish energy solutions provider Topsoe has signed a licensing and engineering agreement with Preem, Sweden’s largest fuel company, to provide its HydroFlex technology at Preem’s Lysekil refinery that will enable production of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel. The refinery is currently being revamped and once it starts operations, scheduled for 2027, Preem expects to become one of Northern Europe’s biggest producers of SAF. Topsoe has become a leading global player in SAF production technology, with agreements signed recently in Asia and the United States. In June 2023, it entered a joint venture with global chemicals and energy company Sasol to develop, build, own and operate SAF plants utilising Sasol’s Fischer-Tropsch and Topsoe’s related technologies. The two companies have now appointed Shell’s President of Global Aviation, Jan Toschka, as CEO of the JV.

Commenting on its HydroFlex agreement with Preem, Topsoe’s Chief Commercial Officer Elena Scaltritti, said: “Society needs a significant upscaling of renewable fuels for aviation. We’re excited to take another step on the path to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector and aviation in particular. Together with Preem, we already have a proven track record of delivering impactful results within renewable fuels production and we’re looking forward to continuing working with Preem on this important task.”

Preem’s refineries in Lysekil and Gothenburg account for around 80% of the Swedish refinery capacity and 35-40% of the Nordic capacity. The company has set a goal that by 2035, it will produce five million cubic metres of renewable fuels annually and to achieve climate neutrality across its entire value chain.

At the Lysekil refinery, the HydroFlex technology will be utilised in Preem’s IsoCracker, a unit that breaks down molecules into lighter components and which will have a capacity of 1.2 million cubic metres per year (22,000 barrels per day) for the production of SAF and renewable diesel.

Topsoe says HydroFlex customers can convert various fats, oils and greases into drop-in renewable jet and diesel that meet all globally accepted specifications and can be deployed in both grassroots units and revamps for co-processing or fully renewable applications.

“We’re thrilled about the revamp of the Lysekil refinery, which is one of the most significant climate investments in Sweden,” said Peter Abrahamsson, Director of Sustainable Development at Preem. “The demand for sustainable aviation fuels is increasing rapidly and we are already in dialogue with several major airlines. With this investment, Preem takes another decisive step in the transition from fossil to renewable production.”

Topsoe’s 50/50 JV with Sasol, which is to be located in the Netherlands, aims to develop, build, own and operate SAF plants, as well as market SAF derived primarily from non-fossil feedstocks, utilising green hydrogen and sustainable sources of CO2 and/or biomass.

Jan Toschka will take up his role as CEO of the JV in March, when the new company will be launched. He has spent 14 years at Shell, culminating as President of Shell Aviation since November 2021.

“Jan holds unique competencies from having already been working within the aviation industry, and he has a highly entrepreneurial mindset, which is what we need to get the joint venture off to a great start,” commented Roeland Baan, Topsoe CEO. “There’s no time to waste in boosting production of SAF to decarbonise the aviation industry and with Jan joining, I am confident that the JV will deliver a remarkable contribution to the world’s global ambition of reaching net zero.”

Responded Toschka: “The joint venture is formed by two industry leaders whose ambition is to take on one of society’s biggest challenges, to help reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation industry. This industry is close to my heart and I am very excited to lead the new company.”

Replacing Toschka as President of Shell Aviation is Raman Ojha, who has 18 years of experience at Shell and previously headed up the company’s construction and road business.

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