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Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Grand opening held for LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels

Grand opening held for LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels
On January 24, 2024, LanzaJet held the Grand Opening of its LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels ethanol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility in Soperton, Georgia (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, partners, and supporters to open LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels, the world’s first ethanol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility. 

Located in Soperton, Georgia (GA), LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels represents one of the most promising SAF technologies in nearly a decade to reach commercial readiness and will produce 10 million (US) gallons (37.85 million litres) of SAF and renewable diesel per year from low carbon, sustainable, and certified ethanol which meets US and global standards.

Today is a testament to the conviction required by industry, government, and funders to advance innovation and stretch the boundaries of what is achievable to address decarbonization and tackle climate change. This is a historic milestone in a long history of firsts for LanzaJet, the United States, and the SAF industry globally, said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet.

Pioneering ethanol-to-jet process and pathway

LanzaJet’s technology is recognized as the pioneering ethanol-to-jet (EtJ) SAF production process and pathway.

This ethanol-based technology is the world’s first viable next-generation SAF technology capable of scaling production to the levels needed to decarbonize aviation through widely available and sustainable feedstock, emerging commercial waste-based feedstock solutions, and promising economic conditions.

The LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels plant represents the culmination of a history of firsts within the SAF industry, dating back to its origin in 2010 as the first ethanol-to-SAF technology to have been derived in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL).

The technology’s first commercial flights were completed with Virgin Atlantic and All Nippon Airways (ANA) in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

LanzaJet’s technology enables current and future supply volume to support a scaled SAF industry as well as the White House’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, which calls for a supply of at least 3 billion gallons (≈ 11.36 billion litres) of SAF annually by 2030 to tangibly reduce aviation emissions.

With its proprietary ethanol to SAF technology, LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels serves as a blueprint for utilizing first-of-its-kind innovation to scale SAF production and combat the worsening climate crisis.

Our novel LanzaJet ethanol to SAF process technology is now deployed at our commercial plant in Georgia which will convert ethanol into drop-in SAF. As we start up the plant, we will continue to refine our technology, while launching our efforts to advance new sustainable fuels projects globally. Between feedstock versatility, efficiency, and economics that enable scale in the US and globally, we stand ready to meet aviation’s decarbonization goals established at the United Nations and country ambitions, such as the SAF Grand Challenge, Jimmy Samartzis said.

Major SAF industry milestone

LanzaJet was joined at the Grand Opening event, held on January 24, 2024, by US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, US Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, Treutlen County Commissioner Phil Jennings, and Soperton Mayor John Koon.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to harnessing the full potential of SAF as we continue to build a strong economy that is sustainable, resilient, competitive, and keeps rural places thriving. As we transition to SAF, this will not only create new climate-smart commodity markets for American producers, but it will also help American companies such as LanzaJet corner the market of a valuable, emerging industry while revitalizing rural communities like Soperton with agriculture front and center in the effort. LanzaJet’s facility will help accelerate the SAF industry and provide new economic opportunities for producers for a more sustainable future, said US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The completion of this facility highlights how the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach is helping build a cleaner, healthier, and safer future through American workers and homegrown clean energy solutions. This a huge win for Georgia’s economy and a testament to the importance of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda in driving new economic opportunities to communities across the country and reinforcing our nation’s industrial might, said US Deputy Secretary of Energy, David M. Turk.

Additionally, the opening of Freedom Pines Fuels also featured LanzaJet shareholders International Airlines Group (IAG), LanzaTech, Mitsui & Co, Shell, and Suncor Energy and investors such as the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Breakthrough Energy, British Airways, and All Nippon Airways (ANA).

LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels is proof of the energy transition accelerating in real-time. We are demonstrating the ability to establish secure supply chains domestically, create new jobs locally, and produce sustainable aviation fuel globally. This historic facility is an important pillar of a growing SAF economy in the United States and is a significant decarbonization milestone in the world, said Dr Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaJet Board Chair and Chief Executive of LanzaTech.

The SAF produced by LanzaJet in Soperton, Georgia will be used immediately as a drop-in fuel for existing aircraft in the aviation industry, which contributes two to three percent of all global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The LanzaJet ethanol-to-jet fuel plant in the US is a demonstration of how government support and investment in green technologies can help make aviation more sustainable. At IAG, we look forward to bringing LanzaJet’s technology to the UK, with Nova Pangaea, to help the UK meet its target of five Sustainable Aviation Fuel plants in construction by 2025, said Luis Gallego, CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG).

The technology used at LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels will reduce GHG emissions by more than 70 percent and can be produced from a variety of sustainable feedstocks, such as agricultural waste, municipal solid waste (MSW), energy crops, carbon captured from industrial processes, and more.

It is a great pleasure to hear about the remarkable progress that LanzaJet has achieved with their first commercial plant despite the challenging business environment. Mitsui will continue collaborating with all stakeholders to support LanzaJet’s activities and is extremely proud to be a part of such a strong partnership. We believe this new facility will demonstrate the robustness of LanzaJet’s innovative ATJ technology, and Mitsui aims to develop commercial projects with partners around the globe to contribute to creating sustainable futures, said Toru Iijima, Chief Operating Officer of the Energy Solutions Business Unit, Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels is fully funded and has secured committed offtake agreements for all fuel produced in the next 10 years.

SAF will play a critical role in meeting our net zero targets and especially in reducing aviation’s emissions this decade. It is the only viable solution for long-haul flights. Today’s opening is a true milestone in the development and commercial production of SAF using LanzaJet’s ethanol-to-SAF process technology. This project acts as the blueprint for using this innovative technology right here in the UK, starting with Project Speedbird, and shows how quickly the US is moving ahead, said Sean Doyle, Chairman and CEO at British Airways.

Located in Treutlen County, Georgia, and less than 100 miles from Savannah, the facility will have created more than 250 total jobs and generate an estimated US$70 million in annual economic activity for the local economy.

The opening of LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels marks a pivotal moment in our journey towards a cleaner aviation future. This plant is more than a source of cleaner fuel; it’s a catalyst for a global sustainable aviation fuel industry and demonstrates how a clean energy economy can drive job creation and local economic development. Breakthrough Energy is proud to have played a critical role in supporting LanzaJet to get to this moment and congratulate everyone at LanzaJet whose hard work and ingenuity made it possible, said Mario Fernandez, Head of Breakthrough Energy Catalyst.

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