Industry, Logistics & Shipping

Lootah Biofuels seals deal for mass SAF production in Mena

Lootah Biofuels, a pioneer in the circular economy that produces biofuels from used cooking oil (UCO), and FatHopes Energy, a Malaysian leader in developing sustainable fats, oils, and grease solutions for advanced biofuel production, have signed a MoU aimed at pioneering advancements in the production and distribution of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the Mena and Southeast Asia region.
The MoU delineates the collaborative roadmap that encompasses diverse initiatives and engagements towards SAF development through cutting-edge technologies and opportunities in setting a practical supply chain, said a statement  .
The agreement was signed by CEO Yousif bin Saeed Lootah and FatHopes Energy CEO Vinesh Sinha in the presence of Mariam AlMheiri, UAE Minister for Climate Change and Environment and Tuan Nik Nazmi Bin Nik Ahmad, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change of Malaysia on the sidelines of COP28.
The global aviation sector has set itself the goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. It currently accounts for around 3% of the world’s carbon footprint, and this is likely to fall rapidly with the use of SAF, which promises to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% and have the advantage over other alternative fuels of being drop-in fuels.
The Middle East being a global hub for travel, as well as UAE and GCC’s major airlines enthusiastically adopting SAF and effective resource management to fulfil their carbon reduction strategy, the demand for SAF is expected to increase further.
In response to this, both companies will explore possibilities for the establishment of a feedstock aggregation storage terminal and SAF refinery at strategic locations in Malaysia and the UAE.  
The planned 200,000 sq m capacity liquid waste and residual feedstock aggregation storage terminal in a suitable seaport in Southeast Asia is expected to act as a consolidation hub for the purpose of securing consistent feedstock supply for the refinery strategically located in the UAE. 
Furthermore, the partnership will explore franchising opportunities for FatHopes Energy’s technologies, data and entrepreneurship programmes across Mena in order to secure ample feedstock supply.  
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Lootahs said the strategic alliance marks a pivotal moment in its commitment to developing sustainable aviation solutions contributing to NetZero targets set by the aviation sector and aligns with UAE leadership’s sustainability goals. 
"Our partnership is more than just collaboration in business.  It is the next step in developing the sector beyond borders and exploring opportunities to mobilise the next generation through knowledge initiatives," he noted.
"By leveraging FHE’s expertise and technologies, we are poised to drive substantial progress in the production and distribution of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, catering to the burgeoning aviation sector in the UAE and beyond," he added.
Sinha pointed out that this collaboration aligns perfectly with its mission to promote sustainable practices and technological innovation. 
"Together with Lootah Biofuels, we aim to contribute to emission reduction in the aviation industry by establishing a robust infrastructure for the production and distribution of SAF, ensuring a greener and more environmentally responsible future," he noted.
The MoU signifies a significant step towards creating a strategic framework for both entities to explore the feasibility and commercial viability of these ambitious projects.
This collaboration underscores the shared commitment of LBF and FHE towards fostering sustainability, technological advancement, and environmental stewardship, serving as a beacon of innovation in the global aviation industry.-TradeArabia News Service