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INTERVIEW: Japan firm aims to supply euglena-based jetfuel to Asia

  • August 17, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 10:30 a.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Aug. 17 (Jiji Press)–Japanese biotech firm Euglena Co. <2931> aims to boost the supply of sustainable aviation fuel from euglena, a single-cell organism, in Asia, its president, Mitsuru Izumo, has said in an interview with Jiji Press.

 

“We’ll become the top player in Asia, which is expected to grow into the biggest market for aircraft fuel in the future in line with its population growth,” Izumo said, adding that Euglena plans to expand the supply of its euglena-based SAF in Asia in and after 2025, when the company is set to start operating a new plant and mass-producing the fuel for domestic use.

 

The company began around 2007 to consider using euglena oil for jet fuel. At the time, there was no reference at all to euglena in international standards on jet fuel.

 

After conducting a huge number of tests and producing a vast amount of documents, Euglena was able to use its euglena-based jet fuel in June this year.

 

The planned new factory is expected to increase the company’s annual production capacity of the biofuel 2,000-fold to 250,000 kiloliters from the current 125 kiloliters.

 

At present, the euglena-based SAF is priced at around 10,000 yen per liter, nearly 100 times the prices of conventional fuels. But Izumo said that the company “plans to lower the price to a reasonable level” through mass production.

 

Initially, Euglena plans to provide the euglena-based fuel to domestic airlines, including regional carriers operating flights to and from remote islands.

 

It also plans to establish production bases in Asia, eyeing the possibility of making 10 million kiloliters in 2030.

 

Showing ways to reduce carbon emissions is more important than so-called flight-shaming, an anti-flying movement, Izumo said.

 

“We will create a sustainable future as soon as possible,” he added.

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