Southwest Airlines spending $30 million on green fuel refinery, investment fund

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Southwest Airlines is buckling down on its environmental goals with a $30 million investment into a sustainable aviation fuel technology provider and launching a new subsidiary dedicated to it.

To reduce its total jet fuel consumption by 2030, Southwest has created Southwest Airlines Renewable Ventures, a subsidiary dedicated to obtaining sustainable aviation fuel. Part of that includes a $30 million investment into LanzaJet, a company with a patented ethanol-to-SAF technology and a commercial plant. The Dallas-based air carrier has a goal to replace 10% of its jet fuel consumption with sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.

“Our launch of SARV and our investment in LanzaJet demonstrate that we are not sitting on the sidelines,” said Bob Jordan, CEO and president at Southwest in a release. “Rather, we’re in the game by taking proactive, disciplined steps toward securing affordable SAF for Southwest, as we continue to march toward our goal of net zero by 2050.”

As part of the agreement, Lanzajet will build an ethanol-to-SAF facility in the United States to produce sustainable aviation fuel primarily for Southwest. The site of the production facility “isn’t available to share yet,” according to Southwest.

The air carrier is going to continue working with sustainable aviation fuel producers to enter “offtake agreements” and the subsidiary will focus on sustainable aviation fuel investments, like its investment into SAFFiRE Renewables back in 2022. The new facility with Lanzajet will provide the opportunity to use cellulosic ethanol from SAFFiRE into sustainable aviation fuel.

Other air carriers are taking eco-friendly strides, too.

In November, American Airlines signed a deal with carbon dioxide removal startup Graphyte, a company that turns waste byproducts into carbon-dense blocks. The Fort Worth-based carrier purchased 10,000 tons of permanent carbon removal to be delivered by early 2025.

Graphyte is backed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a firm founded by Bill Gates. It uses a process called “carbon casting” that permanently removes and stores carbon dioxide using smaller amounts of energy at a lower cost.

2024 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Southwest Airlines spending $30 million on green fuel refinery, investment fund (2024, February 29)
retrieved 3 March 2024

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