(EnergyAsia, September 26 2012, Wednesday) — China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), one of China’s biggest energy companies, and Europe’s Airbus said they are jointly developing and producing renewable aviation fuel for regular commercial use in China.

Sinopec is helping the central government to establish a Chinese airworthiness certification for the new bio-aviation fuels that will be produced from locally grown feedstock.

Using its proprietary technology installed at its new refinery in Hangzhou near Shanghai, Sinopec expects to soon begin producing the certified fuel known as “1# bio-jetfuel”.

According to Airbus, the refinery is one of the few in the world with the capacity to produce aviation fuel from biomass in large-scale.

Airbus said it is supporting the development of the Chinese standard with technical expertise gained in past certification processes with the European Union and US fuels standards bodies and in the selection of sustainable feedstocks.

Dai Houliang, a Sinopec senior vice president, said:

“Bio-jetfuel is becoming increasingly important in aviation and the energy market. It will help aviation grow sustainably and demand for fuel increase. Sinopec has developed its own technology for producing aviation fuel from biomass and waste oil and has already produced aviation fuel meeting international standards.

“Sinopec is assisting the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in the airworthiness certification process and is proud to be collaborating with Airbus and other partners in the push for alternative aviation fuels.”

In addition to fuel certification, the partners are also establishing a sustainable alternative fuel value chain in China, to help speed up its commercialisation, fully using domestic resources and refining capabilities.

Laurence Barron, President of Airbus China, said: “Bio-fuels are a crucial part of the roadmap to meet aviation ambitious carbon dioxide (CO2) targets. We are privileged to be working with our Chinese partners to establish a domestic value chain in China which is 100% Chinese.”

Airbus said it is working on programmes to support the development of alternative fuel value chains in Australia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.