LanzaJet partners with Jet Zero to build SAF plant in Australia
U.S.-based LanzaJet is collaborating with Jet Zero Australia, a leading-edge Australian bioenergy company established to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), to build a SAF manufacturing facility using LanzaJet’s alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology in Queensland, Australia.
Construction on the Queensland plant is expected to begin in 2024. Once operational, the plant will produce up to 100 million litres of SAF annually from agricultural by-products such as sugarcane.
The plant, which could be the first ATJ sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility in Australia, is supported by the Queensland Government, Qantas, and Airbus as part of the Australian SAF Partnership.
Sustainable aviation fuel has been identified by airlines, governments, and energy leaders as the most practical solution to decarbonising the aviation industry, which contributes to approximately 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
LanzaJet’s ATJ technology, which has been developed and scaled for over a decade, produces drop-in, low-carbon intensity sustainable aviation fuel from ethanol.
“As exciting as it is for LanzaJet to deploy its alcohol-to-jet technology to decarbonise aviation in Australia, it is equally gratifying to know its impact in developing the domestic agricultural industry, providing a path for energy security, and enhancing the country’s national security posture and greater fuel independence,” said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet. “LanzaJet looks forward to seeing the impact this project has on Australia’s domestic biofuels industry as well as the larger global impact.”
The SAF produced in Queensland will grow the supply for the Australian domestic market, including the nation’s flag carrier, Qantas Group, which has committed to using 10% SAF in its overall fuel consumption by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Qantas is currently using SAF sourced overseas to power commercial flights out of London and expects to add San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2025.
“This is a first but significant step towards turning agricultural and sugarcane byproducts into aviation fuel to power flights around Australia,” said Andrew Parker, chief sustainability officer for Qantas Group. “SAF is a drop-in solution that we can use with current technologies and it’s critical to the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.”
As part of their USD200 million investment in Australian SAF development, Qantas Group and aerospace giant Airbus will jointly invest a total of AUD2 million (USD1.34 million) in early-stage project capital, with the Queensland Government and additional private investment from Australian and international institutions supporting the total capital raise of AUD6 million (USD4.01 million). The project’s partners will conduct a feasibility study and early-stage project development in Queensland.
“Ensuring a sustainable future for our industry is a priority for Airbus, working with partners across the world and from all sectors,” said Julie Kitcher, Airbus executive vice president, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability. “There is a growing positive momentum around SAF, and it is now time to move from commitments to concrete actions. The selection of the first investment under our joint partnership with Qantas is an example of such action, with the potential to deliver SAF locally in Australia and to be a model for other locations around the world.”
This plant will jumpstart the country’s commitment to clean aviation and ensure the entire process of SAF production takes place within Australia, from feedstock sourcing to fuel production. Currently, Australia exports large volumes of SAF feedstock to produce biofuels in other countries.
“We are excited to have strong investment support and to have executed a Heads of Agreement between Qantas and LanzaJet to complete feasibility studies to build Australia’s first Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) SAF plant,” said Ed Mason, CEO of JetZero. “LanzaJet is undoubtedly one of the world leaders in commercialising ATJ SAF technology with mechanical completion on their Freedom Pines Project in Georgia, U.S.A., later this year, and we are excited to work with them to help Australian businesses and government drive real reductions in aviation emissions.”