Project Speedbird wins £9m UK funding for SAF production

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Project Speedbird – a joint partnership between Nova Pangaea Technologies (NPT), LanzaJet and British Airways (BA) – has secured £9 million (€10.2 million) of funding from the Government’s Advanced Fuels Fund (AFF) competition.
NPT, a Teesside-based cleantech company developing advanced biofuels used to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), was awarded £7.5 million (€8.5 million) as part of the partnership, and LanzaJet will receive £1.5 million (€1.7 million.
This follows the multi-million-pound investments from International Airlines Group (IAG) and British Airways earlier this year into NPT and Project Speedbird.
The SAF will be developed using a combination of NPT’s innovative technology, which converts agricultural waste and wood residue feedstocks into second-generation biofuels such as ethanol and LanzaJet’s proprietary technology that converts ethanol into SAF.
The NPT ethanol will be initially processed into SAF using LanzaJet’s Alcohol to Jet (AtJ) plant in Georgia, US - the first of its kind in the world - prior to Project Speedbird’s own larger AtJ facility, planned to be built in the UK by 2027.
British Airways is intending to purchase all the SAF produced through the project to help power some of its flights.
Project Speedbird aims to produce 102 million litres of SAF per year and production will be at full capacity by 2028.
Carrie Harris, director of sustainability at British Airways, said: “Sustainable aviation fuel will play a critical role in meeting our net zero targets and is currently the only realistic low carbon solution for long-haul flights, so it is vital that we continue to invest and develop SAF technology in order to create enough supply.”
Jimmy Samartzis, chief executive officer at LanzaJet, said: “Project Speedbird is a tremendous example of what it takes to scale the industry and meet this moment. Government support like this is critical in facilitating that growth and we’re thrilled to be working with exceptional partners like Nova Pangaea Technologies and British Airways – making sure these goals become reality.”
Sarah Ellerby, chief executive of Nova Pangaea Technologies, concluded: “With support from the Government, and in partnership with British Airways and LanzaJet, we can now accelerate our next phase of development and the commercialisation of our technology, to help take the UK one step closer to becoming a global leader in SAF.”

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