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Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Southwest Airlines invests US$30 million in LanzaJet

Southwest Airlines invests US$30 million in LanzaJet
LanzaJet plans to support Southwest Airlines with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production in the United States (US), and the development of ethanol from agriculture residue with SAFFiRE Renewables (photo courtesy Southwest Airlines).

In the United States (US), sustainable fuels producer and technology developer LanzaJet, Inc., has announced a US$30 million investment by air carrier Southwest Airlines Co. (Southwest).

As part of the agreement, LanzaJet and Southwest Airlines intend to work toward the development of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility and collaborate to advance the operations of a corn stover to ethanol technology company in which Southwest is invested SAFFiRE Renewables, LLC (SAFFiRE).

LanzaJet plans to undertake project development efforts for the SAF production facility in the United States, with Southwest as the anchor SAF off-taker.

The US is an incredibly important market for us – it’s our home, where our technology originated and scaled, the site of our and the world’s first commercial ethanol-to-SAF plant, and an important opportunity to support the existing US biofuels and ethanol industries with our leading ethanol-to-SAF technology, said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet.

Support commercialization of SAFFiRE tech

The biorefinery is expected to utilize LanzaJet’s pioneering technology, capable of scaling production to the levels needed to decarbonize aviation through widely available and sustainable feedstock, emerging commercial residue-based feedstock solutions, and promising economics.

LanzaJet will also support Southwest’s efforts to commercialize SAFFiRE’s technology that processes corn stover into ethanol.

The alignment of Southwest and LanzaJet is a powerful combination that has the potential to integrate the SAF value chain and double down on the US ethanol, aviation, and biofuel industries. Our work together will lead us closer to meeting aviation’s decarbonization goals by continuing to scale SAF production in the United States, while also tapping into the U.S. ethanol industry’s potential to catalyze the next generation of SAF production, Jimmy Samartzis said.

The US facility to be developed by LanzaJet is also intended to enable the opportunity to convert SAFFiRE’s cellulosic ethanol into SAF.

We’re taking the next step in our sustainability journey toward our goal of net zero by 2050. We look forward to working with LanzaJet, which is developing potentially important technology that could create more opportunities for Southwest to obtain scalable SAF, a critical component in the success of our environmental sustainability goal to replace 10 percent of our jet fuel consumption with SAF by 2030, said Bob Jordan, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines.

Freedom Pines Fuels serves as a blueprint

Southwest’s investment comes on the heels of the opening of LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels – the world’s first commercial-scale ethanol-to-SAF plant.

Located in Soperton, Georgia (GA), the historic plant is anticipated to produce SAF and renewable diesel from low-carbon and sustainable ethanol with International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC).

LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels serves as a blueprint for utilizing first-of-its-kind innovation to scale SAF production and enables LanzaJet’s aspiration for 1 billion gallons (≈ 3.78 billion litres) of SAF production by 2030.

Southwest Airlines joins LanzaJet’s portfolio of investors and funders that includes shareholders British Airways, LanzaTech, Mitsui & Co., Shell, and Suncor Energy and funders such as Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, Breakthrough Energy, and All Nippon Airways (ANA).

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