Launch of Joint Study on the Establishment of a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Manufacturing Business in Japan Using Alcohol to Jet (ATJ) Technology

Jul. 28, 2022


Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Kenichi Hori) and Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd. ("Cosmo", President, Representative Director and CEO: Yasuhiro Suzuki, Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo) have agreed to carry out a collaborative study using industry leading technology from LanzaJet, Inc. in preparation for the establishment of a biofuel production facility to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and establish a new business in Japan.

The new business will combine Cosmo's track record of safe and stable plant operations, jet fuel quality management, and trading operations in the oil refining business, with Mitsui's ethanol procurement capabilities and LanzaJet's proprietary SAF technology, in order to establish a reliable SAF supply chain and create new business in the growing biofuels sector.

Mitsui and Cosmo aim to establish large-scale domestic SAF production operations at Cosmo refineries, using LanzaJet's proprietary Alcohol-to-Jet* (ATJ) technology. LanzaJet's ATJ process is a highly efficient technology that can produce up to 90% of its product as SAF and convert nearly all of the carbon from the ethanol to hydrocarbon products. ATJ technology was developed by LanzaJet, Inc., in which Mitsui has invested.

Demand for SAF is expected to expand rapidly because of its potential to reduce CO2 emissions by the aviation industry, and commercial production has started in a number of countries. Japan will also need to realize large-scale production capacity for and stable supply of SAF to achieve a government target of replacing 10% of aviation fuel used by airlines in SAF by 2030. To resolve these issues, Mitsui and Cosmo plan to produce and supply 220,000 kiloliters of SAF in Japan annually by fiscal 2027 through this project. The two companies will also explore the possibility of each year selling 20,000 kiloliters of renewable diesel, which is a co-product of SAF production, as a fuel for transport vehicles, trucks, heavy equipment, and other machinery used at airports.

Mitsui and Cosmo have both identified the expansion of business that helps to address climate change as a major priority. The two companies see SAF manufacturing as a medium- to long-term business opportunity and will continue to contribute to the decarbonization of the aviation industry and the reliable supply of low-carbon fuels by continually expanding their SAF manufacturing operations in Japan, and by pursuing switching to domestic production of ethanol feedstock in the future.

*ATJ technology: This technology is used to manufacture sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through similar technology used in traditional oil refineries, using sustainable (low-carbon) alcohol (ethanol) as the SAF building block, and has been certified for use in aircraft under the required ASTM standards (ASTM D7566 Annex 5). LanzaJet, Inc., a Mitsui & Co. investee, is building a 38 million liter per year commercial SAF manufacturing plant in Georgia, U.S.A.

Project concept

Project concept

The future site of the LanzaJet PlantThe future site of the LanzaJet Plant

Mitsui’s Materiality

“Build brighter futures, everywhere” as our corporate mission, and to gain the trust and expectations of our stakeholders to realize a better tomorrow for earth and for people around the world, we have identified five material issues (“Materiality”) for Mitsui’s sustainable growth. We anticipate this particular project/ business to contribute especially to the realization of “Secure sustainable supply of essential products” and “Create an eco-friendly society” and “Develop talent leading to value creation”

  • Secure sustainable supply of essential products

    Secure sustainable supply of essential products

  • Enhance quality of life

    Enhance quality of life

  • Create an eco-friendly society

    Create an eco-friendly society

  • Develop talent leading to value creation

    Develop talent leading to value creation

  • Build an organization with integrity

    Build an organization with integrity