Australia, China to cooperate on SAF production


The National Foundation for Australia-China Relations announced A$230,000 project grant for University of South Australia (UniSA) Professor Shane Zhang to explore commercial opportunities of using bio feedstock to replace conventional kerosene jet fuels with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The foundation said that grant will support exchanges between Australia and China on global development of SAF to prepare Australian farmers and industry networks for future opportunities in this sector.

As part of the funded project, UniSA aviation experts will work with their Chinese counterparts over the next two years to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in both countries.

The collaboration, announced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on Saturday, comes on the back of a A$1.7bn Federal Budget allocation to prioritise renewable fuels for the aviation industry over the next decade.

“SAFs can potentially cut carbon emissions by up to 80% and are essential if we are to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Australia by 2050,” said UniSA Professor Zhang.

“There is a lot of potential to produce sustainable aviation fuels in Australia and China, as both countries have large quantities of bio feedstock and the market is untapped. Australia is among a handful of countries globally to support the transition to SAFs, but the financial commitment to develop a local industry does not extend to a mandate at this stage,” he added.

Aside from the federal government’s A$1.7bn, the Albanese Government has also allocated A$18.5m over four years to develop a certification scheme for SAFs and renewable diesel.

A further A$1.5m will go towards a two-year analysis of the costs and benefits of introducing mandates.