Southwest Airlines Signs Agreement for Sustainable Aviation Fuel - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Procurement, Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  November 10, 2021

Southwest Airlines Signs Agreement for Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Southwest Airlines Co. announced a 15-year offtake agreement with Velocys Renewables LLC for 219 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to manufacture net-zero 1 fuel and lower CO2 emissions to use the lowest carbon intensity sustainable aviation fuel available.

After being blended with conventional jet fuel, the SAF could produce the equivalent of 575 million gallons of net-zero1 fuel and avoid 6.5 million metric tons of CO2 during 15 years, Velocys Renewables, a UK-based sustainable fuels technology company, said.

Southwest plans to begin purchasing SAF from the Velocys Bayou Fuels facility in Natchez, Mississippi by 2026. The offtake agreement includes the establishment of a long-term strategic relationship between Southwest and Velocys. The airline has the opportunity to purchase significant volumes of SAF from future Velocys facilities.

“This agreement is a major advancement in our environmental sustainability strategy, furthering our goal to replace 10 percent of our total jet fuel consumption with sustainable aviation fuel by 2030,” said Michael AuBuchon, senior director fuel supply chain management at Southwest Airlines in a statement.  “This new strategic relationship with Velocys could ultimately provide Southwest access to additional significant quantities of sustainable aviation fuel.”

The SAF produced by Velocys plans to utilize a sustainable feedstock (forestry residues from plantation forests) and renewable power from a neighboring solar facility, as well as contract for carbon capture that will sequester more than 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

“It also is expected to have a greater than 99 percent reduction in sulfur as compared to conventional jet fuel, reducing the emissions of this conventional pollutant,” said Henrik Wareborn, CEO of Velocys.


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