Microsoft invests $50M in LanzaJet’s alcohol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel plant

Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund will invest $50 million to support LanzaJet’s construction of the world’s first alcohol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production plant in Georgia, LanzaJet announced.

The investment will support the construction of the Freedom Pines Fuels plant, LanzaJet said on Jan. 13. Other investors in the facility include including Suncor Energy Inc., British Airways and Shell, Reuters reports.

The plant, outside Soperton, GA, “is expected to achieve mechanical completion this year and begin producing 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel per year from sustainable ethanol, including from waste-based feedstocks, in 2023,” according to LanzaJet, a BIO member. “The innovative structure of Microsoft’s financing will enable LanzaJet to bring lower-cost sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel to the global market.”

LanzaJet has developed technology that uses waste-based, sustainable ethanol, which does not come from either food or feed.

Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund is a $1 billion initiative to invest in new climate solutions.

Aviation is hard to decarbonize

“Decarbonizing hard to abate industries and technologies will be essential to achieving our carbon reduction goals by 2030. We look forward to working with LanzaJet to accelerate the global development and deployment of high-quality, sustainable fuels technologies.” Brandon Middaugh of Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund said.

“The airline industry is considered one of the hardest to decarbonize,” said Reuters, adding that the Jefferies investment bank said less than 0.1% of the 330 million tons of jet fuel used globally in 2019 was renewable jet fuel.

Last year, the White House announced executive actions designed to lower aviation emissions by 20% by 2030.

“The partnership with Microsoft is more than just financing—it advances our work towards net zero fuels, it enables lower-cost sustainable fuels into the market, and it supports the urgency to have real, proven technologies scale-up and deploy.” Jimmy Samartzis, LanzaJet CEO, said in a statement.

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