Southwest invests $30m in LanzaJet to develop SAF facility


Southwest Airlines announced the launch of Southwest Airlines Renewable Ventures (SARV) with the initial investment of $30m in LanzaJet to work towards development of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility.

“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, Southwest Airlines.

“We look forward to working with companies and organisations developing important technology, like LanzaJet, which could help us meet our SAF goals.”

The two firms will also collaborate to advance the operations of SAFFiRE Renewables – a corn stover to ethanol technology company part of Southwest’s portfolio. The US facility, to be developed by LanzaJet with investment from Southwest, will convert SAFFiRE’s cellulosic ethanol into SAF.

“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, LanzaJet. ​

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

Southwest’s investment into LanzaJet comes just a month after the launch of LanzaJet’s Freedom Pines Fuels refinery. The Georgia-based refinery will produce SAF and renewable diesel from low-carbon and sustainable ethanol.

Southwest 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).