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New Energy

Global Aviation’s Best Shot at Going Green Relies on Scarce Fuel

High costs and limited production are dulling sustainable aviation fuel’s prospects

Neste's refinery in Singapore.

Neste's refinery in Singapore.

Photographer: Lauryn Ishak/Bloomberg

In Tuas, Singapore’s industrial-heavy district, Finnish company Neste Oyj is building what will one day be the world’s largest facility for sustainable aviation fuel.

Once up and running in 2023, the plant should produce 1 million metric tons a year — a decent amount, but still less than 0.3% of annual global jet fuel demand. What little there is will be expensive: SAF costs as much as five times as traditional jet fuel, itself coming off a 14-year peak.