ORLEN partners with Yokogawa to develop cutting-edge technology for sustainable aviation fuel production

ORLEN and Yokogawa Europe, the regional headquarters for Japan’s Yokogawa Electric Corporation, announce they have joined forces to initiate industrial-scale production of carbon neutral synthetic aviation fuels. In a landmark Memorandum of Understanding signed on September 21, the two companies have come together to enhance the technological process responsible for synthesising fuel from carbon dioxide and green hydrogen. ORLEN is looking to establish itself as a frontrunner in this emerging market segment, poised to drive effective decarbonisation of the aviation industry.

ORLEN is investing in technologies that shape the future of economy. Synthetic fuels are essential in the pursuit of the aviation sector’s carbon neutrality, offering the distinct advantage of not relying on fossil fuels. ORLEN’s target is to attain a production capacity of 70 thousand tonnes of such fuels annually by the end of 2030.

'ORLEN’s partnership with Yokogawa marks a major milestone towards achieving our strategic goal to launch synthetic fuel production. Our joint project will help us to develop a comprehensive industrial-scale process for the production of synthetic fuels. With our Japanese partner we already have a very successful track record of cooperation in optimisation of our refining and petrochemical processes. I am happy such an experienced and reliable partner will support the development of ORLEN’s new business line,' says Daniel Obajtek, ORLEN’s CEO and President of the Management Board.

Under the partnership, ORLEN and Yokogawa aim to develop an integrated management solution for the production of synthetic fuels. The joint endeavour will involve the creation of a virtual replica of a production facility, referred to as a ‘digital twin’, which will enable the simulation and fine-tuning of production processes with a focus on selecting the most economically viable and environmentally sustainable synthesis method. The solution will be applied to a new production facility of synthetic fuels production, which will be constructed by the end of 2030.

Sustainable synthetic fuels are obtained by combining hydrogen produced through electrolysis powered by renewable energy, with carbon dioxide molecules sourced from various industrial processes, including power generation, biomass plants, cement factories, steel mills, and fertilizer plants. Thus, the production of synthetic fuels can significantly curb industrial emissions of greenhouse gases.

One of the exceptional advantages of synthetic fuels lies in their near-identical properties to conventional petroleum-derived products, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to their properties, synthetic fuels can be used with current combustion engine vehicles without the need for any technical modifications. Moreover, the already established storage, transport, and distribution infrastructure designed for petroleum fuels can be used without any modifications for synthetic fuel logistics. This promises to meaningfully expedite and economise the decarbonisation of various sectors, with aviation as a prime beneficiary. ORLEN expects the aviation industry to be the principal consumer of synthetic fuels.

'Through this co-innovation with ORLEN, we will accelerate the decarbonization of aviation fuels. This will be powered by seamlessly integrated and highly autonomous digital systems,' states Takayuki Matsubara, President of Yokogawa Europe.

Yokogawa already provides a comprehensive spectrum of solutions to the ORLEN Group, encompassing automation technology, software for modelling refinery and petrochemical processes, and tools for optimising energy consumption in production facilities.

About ORLEN Group

The ORLEN Group is an integrated multi-utility energy company listed in the prestigious global Fortune Global 500 and Platts TOP250 rankings. It was the first company in the region to declare achieving total emission neutrality in 2050. Thanks to the recent acquisitions and mergers, it became one of the 150 largest companies in the world. The company operates on 9 home markets: Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Canada, Norway, Pakistan and soon Austria.

By the end of this decade, ORLEN will invest over PLN 320 billion to implement strategic projects, of which approximately 40% will be allocated to green investments, including wind energy at sea and on land, photovoltaics, biogas and biomethane, biofuels, electromobility, green hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

About Yokogawa

Yokogawa provides advanced solutions in the areas of measurement, control, and information to customers across a broad range of industries, including energy, chemicals, materials, pharmaceuticals, and food. Yokogawa addresses customer issues regarding the optimization of production, assets, and the supply chain with the effective application of digital technologies, enabling the transition to autonomous operations.

Founded in Tokyo in 1915, Yokogawa continues to work toward a sustainable society through its 17,500 employees in a global network of 129 companies spanning 60 countries.

About Yokogawa Europe B.V.

The European headquarters of Yokogawa were founded in Amersfoort in the Netherlands in 1982. Throughout Europe, Yokogawa has its own sales, service, and engineering operations. This dedicated network has been extended to Central and East Europe to further enhance the coverage and support associated with serving the process control and automation marketplace. 

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