Australian petroleum company Ampol and Japanese firm ENEOS have reached a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore opportunities for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel at the Lytton refinery in Brisbane, Australia.

Under the MoU, Ampol and ENEOS will assess the feasibility of an advanced biofuel manufacturing facility that could produce up to 500 million litres of SAF and renewable diesel a year.

ENEOS director president and representative Saito Takeshi said: “ENEOS looks forward to contributing to decarbonising the aviation industry in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and Japan, through the realisation of value chains and stable supply of biofuels, especially SAF.

“Integrated supply chains – from feedstocks to manufacturing and distribution infrastructure – will be critical to the development of a successful and sustainable biofuels industry.

“Queensland is uniquely positioned given the availability of high-quality feedstocks from established industries. In addition, the location of Ampol’s manufacturing and distribution assets provides a great platform from which to explore SAF production.”

The partnership will combine the expertise of the two companies in aviation and the broader transport fuels market.

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This includes ENEOS’ know-how in refining technology, energy transition and Japanese aviation leadership along with Ampol’s refining and distribution infrastructure and expertise in the Australian aviation sector.

The initial priority of the project will be on the use of agricultural, animal and other waste feedstocks prevalent in the Queensland market, making use of the current refinery infrastructure to manufacture biofuels for both domestic and international markets.

Additional focus will be on exploring potential counterparties in Queensland to offer feedstock and demand for product offtake.

The two companies also signed a separate MoU with the Queensland government and will engage with the state as work proceeds on investment and project development as part of the Queensland Biofutures Ten-Year Roadmap.

Ampol managing director and CEO Matt Halliday said: “Ampol is committed to supporting the development of a biofuels value chain in Australia and to partnering with like-minded organisations to help drive innovation in future energy.

“Biofuels and synthetic fuels have an important role to play in energy transition, particularly in hard-to-abate areas such as aviation and heavy industrial sectors like mining. These are important market segments for Ampol.”