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LanzaTech appoints Cuellar EVP, Growth and Strategic Projects

LanzaTech appoints Cuellar EVP, Growth and Strategic Projects
Photo courtesy of LanzaTech

LanzaTech Global, Inc., an innovative carbon capture and transformation company, announced that Aura Cuellar has joined as executive vice president (EVP) of Growth and Strategic Projects. 

Cuellar most recently served as vice president of Energy Transition for Shell in the United States. Originally hired into an engineering position, Cuellar advanced her 24+ year tenure at Shell across various senior executive roles in downstream manufacturing. Cuellar brings a proven successful track record of strategy development and implementation, strategic commercial partnerships formation for creating sustainable revenue pipelines, and management of an annual capital projects portfolio of USD500 million.

Cuellar also serves as honorary consul of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Houston, Texas, U.S.A., where she contributes to addressing the shared challenges of climate adaptation and resilience, health and vitality, sustainable mobility, and the energy transition. Originally from Colombia, Cuellar holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Civil Engineering from Seattle University, an MBA from Western Washington University, and recently finished Executive General Management studies at INSEAD and Harvard’s Women on Boards Program. 

LanzaTech, based in Skokie, Illinois, U.S.A., has a strong project pipeline in addition to three operating commercial scale plants and an anticipated three more coming online before the end of 2023.

In October 2022, LanzaTech announced a strategic funding partnership with Brookfield Renewable to build additional commercial facilities. The funding will be provided through the Brookfield Global Transition Fund (BGTF), which is the largest private fund in the world focused on the energy transition. Brookfield is LanzaTech’s preferred capital partner for project opportunities in Europe and North America and following initial investments totaling USD500 million, Brookfield could commit to making an additional USD500 million available for investments in the strategic partnership if sufficient projects are available at the agreed milestones. 

With the appointment of Cuellar, who has a record of running and implementing large-scale capital projects for the refining and chemicals sectors, LanzaTech installs a global executive with seasoned project management, construction, and commercial negotiation experience to accelerate deployment of projects and capital in partnership with Brookfield. 

The creation of a team around Cuellar is expected to fast-track growth and bring additional revenue to the newly listed company by accelerating capital deployment from Brookfield. 

“Carbon transformation is at the forefront of the energy transition, and I am delighted to be able to apply my skills where capital deployment isn’t a barrier. We can fast track commercial infrastructure projects thanks to this unique partnership with Brookfield Renewable. Through this partnership, LanzaTech has the potential to see carbon transformation meet the scale needed for decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors across the economy. I am looking forward to working with our partners and creating a team in which individuals are empowered and accountable to deliver commercial results. Together we will bring new projects to life and accelerate the energy transition through a profitable decarbonization,” Cuellar said. 

“LanzaTech continues to set an example for decarbonisation, matching innovation with ambition,” said Natalie Adomait, managing partner, and chief investment officer of Transition Investing. “With Aura at the helm of this infrastructure initiative, we look forward to continuing the work Brookfield has begun with LanzaTech on our journey toward a circular carbon economy.” 

“As the world’s first public carbon transformation company, we are doubling down our efforts to accelerate the commercial deployment of our technology,” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “We have found the right leader in Aura and the right partner in Brookfield Renewables. Together we can get more steel in the ground and start solving our carbon emissions problem today. This is what the world needs us to do.”