Acelen Renewables is a recently established energy company poised to actively participate in the global energy transition. With a project targeting an investment exceeding $2.5 billion, its primary focus is on the production of renewable fuels – Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and Renewable Diesel – utilizing the native Brazilian plant, Macaúba. Acelen Renewables is a subsidiary of Acelen and has Mubadala Capital, a global asset management firm, as its main sponsor.
“We launched Acelen Renewables here at COP28 to showcase Brazil’s potential contribution to a more sustainable future. We will produce renewable diesel and SAF, Sustainable Aviation Fuel, reducing CO2 emissions by 80% compared to traditional fuels. This project is already a reality, in advanced phase of engineering and its studies to implement agriculture in large scale” emphasized Luiz de Mendonça, CEO of Acelen Renewables.
The company will reach the global market, banking on innovative solution to ensure the large-scale supply of renewables feedstocks that guarantee efficiency, productivity, and reduce environmental impact.
Throughout the project, the expectation is to produce 1 billion liters per year [of renewable diesel and SAF]. According to a study conducted by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), the projection is that a total of $17 billion will circulate in the Brazilian economy by 2035, directly and indirectly, from the project with a consequent increase in tax contributions across the entire production chain. According to FGV’s analysis, the project is expected to create more than 90 thousand direct and indirect jobs, with 70% being permanent, related to the operation of the Renewable Energy Hub, and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% through the substitution of fossil fuels. This will position the company as one of the world’s largest producers of renewable fuels.
The company is expected to commence production in the second half quarter of 2026.
“This is just the first step. The project is highly scalable. We plan to build several similar units to maximize the project’s impact and contribute to a greener future,” said Acelen CEO, Luiz de Mendonça.
A unique project, from seed to fuel, due to the formation of an ecosystem of strategic partners already contracted for the agro development, biorefinery construction, certification, and fuel marketing.
The production capacity will be 20 thousand barrels/day, approximately 1 billion liters per year, equivalent to the annual supply of 1.1 million vehicles, positioning Acelen Renewables among the world’s leading future fuel producers. The production of renewable diesel and SAF will initially target the international market, where these products are already approved for commercialization and consumption.
The company will also invest in plant genetics, improvement of agricultural productivity, and the selection of suitable areas for cultivation, prioritizing degraded areas. An industrial-scale seed germination laboratory for research investments is already in development in Brazil.
The project is designed to be fully sustainable, with extensive decarbonization throughout the integrated chain, using a high-energy native plant for CO2 absorption and the recovery of degraded areas. Economically, the expectation is to create a broad range of opportunities for agribusiness, for both small and large producers, as well as public-private partnerships.
With a focus on the recovery of degraded lands, at least 5 agro-industrial hubs with Macaúba cultivation will be established. In total, 200 thousand hectares of forests in the State of Bahia and Minas Gerais will be developed through public-private partnerships and the use of family farming, capturing up to 355 tons/ha of CO2.
The expectation is that renewable diesel will emit up to 80% less CO2 than fossil diesel, and the high-energy plant cultivation is projected to capture 60 million tons of CO2 over 20 years. In addition to adopting agriculture 4.0 technology, Acelen Renewables will develop the process of vegetable oil extraction, generating co-products with high added value and sustainably reusing waste.
Macaúba is a Brazilian plant with high oil productivity per hectare and highly competitive compared to other crops, it offers greater efficiency in water and nutrient use. As a native perennial species, it enables a range of environmental services such as biodiversity conservation or even restoration, as degraded areas will be replaced by Macaúba groves. This allows for vegetative cover, conserving the soil and its biota, contributing to the recovery of water sources, and serving as a food source for birds and other native animals. Its cultivation will follow the best agricultural and environmental practices, favoring carbon capture and reducing CO2 emissions from seed to fuel.