Navigating a lower carbon future for Australian transport

ExxonMobil Australia sponsors Renewable Fuels Week 

Last week, ExxonMobil Australia sponsored Renewable Fuels Week Conference with members of the local Product Solutions team attending a number of events to grow our networks with participants across the lower emission fuels value chain in Australia.

As part of the event, Asia Pacific Business Development Manager, Bruce Sutherland opened the first session of the conference, focused on how Sustainable Aviation Fuel in accelerating emissions reductions for Australia’s aviation industry, with ExxonMobil’s Global Regulatory Development Manager, Tahmid Mizan speaking during the session.

You can read Bruce’s speech below and here is some of the media coverage of the event:

Call for more biofuels to keep trucks, utes on the road

Labor faces calls for renewable diesel industry

It’s an honour for ExxonMobil Australia to be able to sponsor this session today.

Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples who are the traditional custodians of the Canberra area and pay respect to the elders, past and present, of all Australia’s Indigenous peoples.

I’d also like to thank Minister King for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today as we continue to explore the immense potential for renewable fuels to contribute to Australia’s emissions reductions.

The ExxonMobil Australia team is delighted and proud to be a platinum sponsor of this year’s Renewable Fuels Week Conference.

And I am thrilled to be here today opening this session on the acceleration and deployment of Sustainable Aviation Fuel around the globe and closer to home.

I am looking forward to hearing from our group of highly experienced and diverse speakers including:

Kelvin Lee from the International Air Transport Association

Jack Shepherd from Blunomy

ExxonMobil’s very own Tahmid Mizan

Robert Boyd from Boeing’s global Sustainability Policy and Partnerships team

And Jimmy Smartzis, CEO of Lanzajet.

But first, a little bit about me and a little bit about ExxonMobil.

I am a husband and father to three young adults, an old dog and a puppy, who all continue to surprise, challenge and amaze me on a daily basis.

I’ve worked for ExxonMobil for 25 years and I was absolutely thrilled when I was asked to head up our Lower Emissions Fuels business for the Asia Pacific Region last year.

What really stood out for me about this new opportunity is that my kids were even more excited about it than me, proud to tell their mates that their dad was finding solutions to reduce emissions for Australia and the region, heartened that there was action being taken by a global company who has the capability to deliver solutions at scale that will be needed to achieve a lower emissions future for transport.

ExxonMobil Australia is one of our country’s oldest energy companies, having first established a presence here more than 125 years ago.

Our company has unmatched global, regional, and local experience across the entire jet fuel supply chain from feedstock to wingtip (and everything in-between) and we’ve been supplying aviation fuel to Australian customers, like Qantas, for over 100 years.

Over that time, we’ve continually evolved to keep pace with growing Australia’s growing demand for energy and leverage ever-improving technology.

In our long history as an energy supplier to this great nation we have seen many changes.

And it is our view that all lower emission fuels, including SAF, have a vital role in Australia’s energy future.

They are, in fact, essential.

At ExxonMobil, our people are working hard to keep the lights on, homes warm and people moving while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions – we call this the ‘and’ equation .

We plan to invest more than $20 billion on initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through to 2027, with a significant share focused on scaling up carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and biofuels.

As part of this, we want to do our part in the supply of low emissions fuels, including SAF, to meet industry’s demand.

Our goal is to provide more than 40,000 barrels, or around 6.3 million litres, per day of lower-emissions fuels by 2025 and we have a further goal to provide over 30 million litres per day by 2030.

To achieve these goals, we continue to focus investments on markets where well-designed policies support technologies that reduce life-cycle emissions.

For example ExxonMobil’s majority-owned affiliate, Imperial Oil Ltd., is moving forward with plans to produce renewable diesel at a new complex at its Strathcona refinery in Canada, supported by their Clean Fuels Regulations.

And in late 2023, we produced our first batch of SAF at our refinery in Gravenchon France, via co-processing.

When it comes to the transport sector, it’s clear that a diverse mix of technologies will be crucial as we track towards net zero.

Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids will of course play a role. They are expected to make a positive impact in reducing emissions on our roads.

But I believe it’s equally important to figure out how we can reduce GHG emissions from the millions of cars, trucks, planes and trains that currently run on liquid fuels. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon, and electrifying them isn’t always an option.

We need policy that encourages investments in all technologies to reduce emissions from these harder to abate fleets, including our aviation industry.

That requires a new way of thinking about the entire transportation system, by considering the life cycle carbon intensity of fuels, and how to make these cars, trucks, and especially planes, operate more efficiently.

We believe the fastest, lowest-cost option to reduce transportation emissions is a federal low carbon fuel standard.

If you’re not familiar with the term, a low carbon fuel standard is a policy that encourages emission reductions across the entire life-cycle of both vehicles and their energy source, from production and processing through to on-road use, regardless of whether a vehicle, or a plane, has a tailpipe.

We believe a low carbon fuel standard is a faster, cheaper and better way to reduce emissions across the entire transport sector.

And it would allow all Australians to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport, even those who cannot, or don’t want to, purchase an EV.

For the aviation sector, a low carbon fuel standard can support the gradual introduction of sustainable aviation fuel over time, as it gives the government the opportunity to pace emissions reductions with the availability of feedstocks and SAF, helping to ensure Australian passengers pay a fair price.

Later this morning, you’ll hear from the head of our Global Regulatory Development Team, Tahmid Mizan, who will share what we see as ways to accelerate decarbonization of Australia’s aviation industry through a low carbon fuel standard, and how various policies around the world are already reducing greenhouse emissions in our skies.

But for now, I’d like to introduce our first speaker this morning, Kelvin Lee, IATA’s Assistant Director, External Affairs & Sustainability for the Asia Pacific region.