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Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Construction milestone for LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels

Construction milestone for LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels
LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels is the world's first ethanol-based alcohol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production plant (photo courtesy LanzaJet).

In the United States (US), LanzaJet Inc., a leading sustainable fuels technology company and sustainable fuels producer joined government officials, industry leaders, and investors to celebrate a major construction milestone at the LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels facility in Soperton, Georgia (GA).

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Construction will be completed in 2023 with commission and startup beginning next year.

The plant will produce 10 million (US) gallons (≈37.8 million litres) of SAF and renewable diesel per year from ethanol, using a range of sustainable, low-carbon intensity ethanol, including from waste-based feedstocks.

Building a new industry and scaling new technology is exciting while at the same time challenging. We’ve enjoyed the privilege of partnering with incredible public and private sector leaders to support our work on this journey, said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet.

LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels will approximately double the amount of current SAF production in the United States.

Today, we celebrate the power of partnership to tackle climate change – the greatest challenge of our generation. Fabrication and construction of our novel process technology that converts ethanol into drop-in, replacement sustainable aviation fuel is completed, and installation has begun at the site. This is a significant milestone on our journey and also for the development of the SAF industry, Jimmy Samartzis said.

LanzaJet was joined at the event by its shareholders International Airlines Group (IAG), LanzaTech, Mitsui & Co, Shell, and Suncor Energy, investors including Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Breakthrough Energy, and All Nippon Airways (ANA), and government representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US Department of Energy (DOE), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well as representatives from the State of Georgia and local and county officials.

I’m excited to see LanzaJet continue to soar ahead as they develop sustainable aviation fuel. I was proud that the Inflation Reduction Act, which is now law, enacted provisions from the AERO Act, a bill I introduced and championed to boost sustainable aviation fuel production and bring more clean energy jobs to Georgia. I’ve long believed our state has a bright future as we keep growing the green economy and I look forward to continuing my close partnership with LanzaJet, said Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock.

As an industry, aviation contributes 2-3 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from humans. SAF is the best near- mid- and long-term opportunity for the industry to decarbonize and achieve its net zero ambition by 2050.

Aviation is one of the hardest climate problems to solve, but sustainable aviation fuels could be a significant part of the solution if we can rapidly scale its production and bring down its costs. That’s why we’re hopeful about LanzaJet and this project. We believe we’re at the beginning of positive change throughout the aviation industry and that the Freedom Pines Fuels plant has the potential to catalyze investment in sustainable aviation fuels around the world, said Rodi Guidero, Executive Director of Breakthrough Energy.

Sustainable aviation fuels are both the best immediate and long-term solution for our industry to decarbonize and achieve its net-zero ambition by 2050. This is a significant milestone in the commercial production of SAF and we will be taking delivery of 7 500 tonnes annually from this facility once construction is completed next year, said Luis Gallego, CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG).

IAG was the first European airline group that pledged to use 10 percent SAF by 2030 and has committed US$865 million in purchases and investments to date. This innovative project has benefitted from strong support from the US government which is leading the way in supporting investment in low-carbon technologies. With the right policy support to incentivize further investment, there’s an opportunity for both the UK and EU to be true leaders on the sustainable aviation fuel agenda, Luis Gallego said.

The SAF produced at LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels will help reduce aviation emissions tangibly and quickly, producing nine million gallons of SAF and one million gallons of diesel annually.

ANA is proud to support LanzaJet and applauds them for the construction milestone of this facility, which when in production next year will help increase higher utilization of SAF in the airline industry. As ANA looks to reduce CO2 emissions and meet our climate goals, our partnership with LanzaJet is critical and will help with our SAF-related initiatives, said Chikako Miyata, EVP and Group Chief Sustainability Officer, ANA Holdings Corporation.

This milestone in the LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels project marks an important step in LanzaJet’s work to scale the development and deployment of high-quality sustainable fuels. Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund has invested in this project to accelerate the decarbonization of aviation and stationary backup fuels, and we look forward to continued collaboration with LanzaJet as we work to build a market for emerging climate solutions, said Brandon Middaugh, Director, Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund.

LanzaJet is scaling this technology to much larger size capacity units including standard sizes that can be replicated and constructed quickly, as well as significantly larger capacities that can add significant production capacity globally.

Together, we are showing the world that we can change how we procure, use, and dispose of carbon. We must be able to travel and see family and friends without compromising our values and our planet. We are showing the world that we can create domestic supplies of sustainable fuel, create secure supply chains, create new jobs, and support local industry. Freedom Pines Fuels highlights a way to harness local waste carbon and support a just energy transition for a better future for all. This facility is a foundation stone for a strong new SAF economy in the United States and the world, said Dr Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech and Chair of the LanzaJet Board.

The SAF produced at LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuel will be compatible with existing aircraft currently in use around the world.

As an early shareholder in LanzaJet, Suncor is a believer in what LanzaJet is building and is excited to see the Freedom Pines Fuels project move forward. The sustainable aviation fuel that will be produced at this facility is a giant step toward our country’s and our world’s climate goals, said Andrea Decore, VP of Low Carbon Fuels & GHG Offsets, Suncor Energy.

Given the enormous cost and lengthy lifespan of commercial planes, a “drop-in” solution without aircraft or infrastructure changes makes it possible to transition away from current jet fuel more quickly and meet the United States Aviation Climate Action Plan’s “SAF Grand Challenge” of 3 billion gallons (11.36 billion litres) of SAF by 2030 and sufficient SAF in 2050 to meet the industry’s decarbonization goal of net zero emissions.

Sustainable aviation fuels are crucial to decarbonize aviation in a material way in this decade and beyond. This is an important step in bringing Alcohol-to-Jet technology to market and unlocking another pathway to produce SAF at scale, delivering sustainable aviation fuels to customers in the United States, said Carlos Mauer, EVP Sectors and Decarbonisation, Shell.

LanzaJet has already made it an ambition to produce 1 billion gallons (≈ 3.78 billion litres) to support the US goal and is well on its way with projects throughout the US.

It is a great pleasure to see LanzaJet’s innovative technology starting to take shape, and Mitsui is very proud of being a part of the strong partnership that is making it happen. Mitsui will continue to work closely with LanzaJet and the other stakeholders towards completion of the plant, and we look forward to developing commercial projects using LanzaJet technology around the globe, said Toru Iijima, Chief Operating Officer of the Energy Solutions Business Unit, Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Developed with the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), LanzaJet’s alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology is extremely versatile and capable of using low-carbon intensity, sustainable ethanol available in the market today from a variety of feedstocks such as agricultural waste, energy crops, and other plentiful sources.

Zachry Sustainability Solutions is excited to support the engineering for LanzaJet on its important sustainable aviation fuel project. Zachry Group is committed to supporting the energy transition and decarbonization efforts through critical technologies such as renewable fuels, carbon capture, hydrogen/ammonia, and nuclear energy, said Mike Kotara, President, Zachry Sustainability Solutions.

Additionally, LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels will spur further SAF innovation by establishing a new market for scalable ethanol from waste-based sources – as the facility is planning to fully transition to second-generation ethanol in the coming years as that production develops and supply chains mature.

The arrival of the first skids at the Freedom Pines Fuels Soperton site marks the culmination of more than four years of effort between the LanzaJet and Zeton teams to deliver this ground-breaking commercial demonstration plant. Throughout this project, there was a close alignment between each organization’s values and goals, and this is reflected in the quality of the plant itself, from both the design and fabrication perspectives. Zeton would like to thank LanzaJet for entrusting us with this project – the largest in our company’s 36-year history – and we look forward to building on the strong relationships developed between the LanzaJet and Zeton teams by continuing to deliver the highest quality products and services in our industry, in the safest manner possible, said Dr Leisl Dukhedin-Lalla, President & CEO, Zeton

LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels is expected to complete construction in 2023 and begin its commissioning and startup next year as well.

Located in Treutlen County and less than 100 miles from Savannah, the Soperton plant will create 125 direct jobs over the construction phase of the process, and 31 direct and 25-50 indirect jobs during ongoing operations, and generate US$5 million annually in estimated wages and benefits for the local economy.

Georgia is becoming the country’s leading state for the production of advanced energy and transportation technologies, including LanzaJet’s innovative work on aviation fuels, said US Senator Jon Ossoff.

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