Grön Fuels has cleared a significant hurdle in the development of its massive renewable fuels complex planned for the Port of Greater Baton Rouge.
The state has inked an agreement with a Grön affiliate, Capio Sequestration, to store carbon captured at the complex during the manufacturing process at two underground sites—one beneath the Sherbourne Wildlife Management Area and the other beneath the Maurepas Wildlife Management Area.
“In a world transitioning to lower carbon production and manufacturing, carbon capture and sequestration infrastructure significantly enhances the future competitiveness of all industries, as well as the state of Louisiana, nationally and internationally,” says Pete Hollis, president of Capio Sequestration
Grön’s proposed complex, which will be $2.1 billion in its first phase and ultimately represent more than $9 billion in investment if fully developed, will produce a variety of renewable fuels, with the primary focus now on sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF.
Grön initially planned to focus on producing more than 60,000 barrels per day of renewable diesel, and some 8,000 barrels per day of SAF. Now, the plan has flip-flopped, and the plant will produce more SAF and less renewable diesel in response to market demand, though it will also have the capacity to be flexible.
“The key to long-term competitiveness is your optionality on your feedstocks, products, scale and logistics,” says Grön co-founder Dan Shapiro. “So the key to us was getting it all right rather than racing to something that is not optimal.”
Based on current plans, the complex would be the largest SAF facility in the world, producing some 46,000 barrels of SAF per day, as well as 14,000 barrels per day of renewable diesel and 2,000 barrels per day of bioplastics feedstock.
“Based on the strong long-term demand for SAF and the completed design for Grön Fuel’s industrial-scale SAF production facility, the fully engineered renewable fuels complex has a clear path to carbon negative and climate-positive fuels,” says Grön co-founder Bengt Jarlsjo.
Though the airline industry currently uses very little SAF to power its commercial airliners, the use of renewable jet fuel is expected to rapidly grow in the next few years, as the industry becomes increasingly intentional about reducing the size of its carbon footprint.
By the end of the decade, the industry wants 10% of all commercial aviation fuel to be SAF, according to recent targets.
Grön’s investors have not yet made a final investment decision on the Port Allen complex, but the decision is expected in the first half of 2022 along with a groundbreaking, Shapiro says.