A consortium led by SGP BioEnergy has collaborated with the Government of Panama for the construction of a biorefinery to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Slated to be completed in five years, the Biorefineria Ciudad Dorada (Golden City Biorefinery) is being built in the Colon and Balboa regions in Panama.

The facility is expected to become the largest advanced biorefinery and SAF production platform in the world.

Once operational, the facility will produce 180,000 barrels of biofuel per day and 2.6 billion gallons per year.

SGP BioEnergy CEO Randy Delbert Letang said: “Transportation makes up 27% of greenhouse gas emissions and the only way to decarbonise many sectors, like aviation, is to integrate fossil fuels with compatible biofuels.

“This facility not only brings cleaner fuels online in the short term, but its construction at a central hub of global commerce, serving over 1,000 ports, catalyses the industry in the long term by immediately delivering a lower cost of biofuels, reducing waste and revolutionising farm economics.”

The project will be developed in partnership with private landowners, Panama Oil Terminals (POTSA) and the Government of Panama.

It will help repurpose existing facilities, which presently process and store 70% of the country’s bunker fuel oil to the refinement and storage of biofuels derived from purpose-grown plant oils as well as waste fats and greases.

Republic of Panama president Laurentino Cortizo said: “Panama’s unique geographic position, existing logistics platform, and special economic zones make it the perfect place for this facility. We are very excited about the 1,000 jobs this investment will generate for the people of Colon and Panama.”