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China regulator launches country's first 'green' jet aviation fuel center

The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) launched the country's first technical center for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) that focuses on standard setting and product research, a report published in the aviation regulator's news channel showed late on Tuesday.

The new center, based in the southwestern city of Chengdu, will take the lead in mapping out industry policy and setting up standards for products and quality control, according to two SAF industry executives with direct knowledge of the launch.

China, the world's second-largest aviation market which consumes about 11% of the jet fuel used globally, is expected to unveil this year its policy on the use of SAF for 2030 that could spur billions of dollars of investment.

Despite a few test flights, China does not produce SAF commercially for domestic use. Biofuel firms are pouring more than $1 B into building China's first plants to turn waste cooking oil into aviation fuel for export and meet domestic demand once Beijing mandates the fuel's use on airplanes to cut emissions.

CAAC also aims to establish a Chinese certification system for sustainable fuel.

The center is setting up test facilities for new products, according to the report on the regulator's news site, which added that China's total aviation fuel consumption is likely to exceed 50 MMtpy by 2030 and the use of SAF could reach 2.5 MMtpy.

SAF can be made from sustainably sourced renewable waste and residues such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste, or processed from renewable power-based hydrogen.

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