Feb 3 (Reuters) — Nippon Paper Industries Corp, Sumitomo Corp and Green Earth Institute Corp agreed on Friday to jointly study bioethanol production made from woody biomass, Nippon Paper said in a statement.

The project, if it succeeds, would aim to produce bioethanol from Nippon Paper’s mills in the fiscal year of 2027 to be used as a feedstock for the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production Japan plans to join gradually increase for its aviation industry.

The global airline industry is looking at using SAF — which is produced from feedstock such as agricultural waste and used cooking oil — to meet its net zero emissions target by 2050.Japan plans to be carbon-neutral by the same year.

Last month, Japan’s top airlines All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) expanded their SAF purchases by adding supplies from Japanese trading house Itochu Corp and U.S.producer Raven SR, as they both committed to using SAF to meet 10% of their fuel needs by 2030. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova. Editing by Jane Merriman)