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Southwest Airlines launches Renewable Ventures subsidary

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Southwest Airlines Co. has launched Southwest Airlines Renewable Ventures (SARV), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines®, dedicated to creating more opportunities for Southwest to obtain scalable sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The carrier also announced a US$30 million investment in LanzaJet, Inc., a SAF technology provider and producer with a patented ethanol-to-SAF technology and the world's first ethanol-to-SAF commercial plant, as part of the SARV investment portfolio.

"Our launch of SARV and our investment in LanzaJet demonstrate that we are not sitting on the sidelines. 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," said Bob Jordan, President and CEO of Southwest Airlines. "We look forward to working with companies and organisations developing important technology, like LanzaJet, which could help us meet our SAF goals."

Southwest will continue to work with SAF producers to enter into SAF offtake agreements, while SARV will focus on managing Southwest's SAF-related investments, including the carrier's previously announced equity investment in SAFFiRE Renewables (SAFFiRE). SAFFiRE has been working with the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and has a license agreement and certain exclusivity rights to this technology for the production of cellulosic ethanol. This technology is an important component in converting corn stover, a widely available agricultural residue feedstock in the US., to cellulosic ethanol that can then be converted to SAF using LanzaJet's technology.

Additionally, as part of its agreement with Southwest, LanzaJet intends to build an ethanol-to-SAF facility to produce SAF primarily for Southwest. The planned facility includes capabilities to convert SAFFiRE's cellulosic ethanol into SAF, which can produce greater quantities of SAF from SAFFiRE ethanol over time.

"SARV's goal is to help scale SAF through strategic investments, better positioning Southwest to have access to high quality, affordable SAF in accordance with the robust standards of Southwest's SAF policy," said Tom Nealon, President of SARV and CEO of SAFFiRE. "Through SARV's investment in LanzaJet, we're also entering the next phase in the commercialisation of SAFFiRE technology, which is designed to support the production of cellulosic ethanol that can be converted to SAF."

"LanzaJet's ethanol-to-SAF technology represents the next generation of SAF and will transform global aviation's ability to meet its 2050 net zero targets. We're proud to be working with Southwest Airlines to build out this industry as well as working with SAFFiRE Renewables to use ethanol made right here in the US," said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet. "Southwest's equity investment in LanzaJet will help us continue to grow and scale to meet the demands of the aviation industry, while unlocking the significant potential of the US biofuels industry to benefit local communities and support the agriculture industry."

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