Southwest Airlines acquires SAFFiRE Renewables as it focuses on SAF production

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Southwest Airlines Co. has acquired SAFFiRE Renewables as part of its wholly owned subsidiary Renewable Ventures (SARV).
SARV is dedicated to creating more opportunities for Southwest® to obtain scalable sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
SAFFiRE is part of a project supported by the Department of Energy (DoE) to develop and produce scalable renewable ethanol that can be upgraded into SAF.
SAFFiRE expects to utilise technology developed at the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to convert corn stover into renewable ethanol.
“This acquisition marks Southwest’s transition from investor to sole owner of SAFFiRE, expressing our confidence in SAFFiRE’s technology and its potential to advance our sustainability goals as well as the goals of the broader industry,” said Bob Jordan, president & CEO of Southwest Airlines.
“Championing SAF is a key pillar of Southwest’s Nonstop to Net Zero plan and our work toward a more sustainable future for air travel.”
Southwest first invested in SAFFiRE during phase one of the pilot project in 2022.
With this acquisition, SAFFiRE is expected to proceed with phase two of the project by developing a pilot plant hosted at Conestoga’s Arkalon Energy ethanol facility in Liberal, Kansas
"Renewable ethanol is an important feedstock to realizing high-volume, affordable SAF, which is a critical part of the journey to net zero carbon emissions,” said Tom Nealon, president of SARV and CEO of SAFFiRE.
“We are enthusiastic about the ethanol-to-SAF pathway and SAFFiRE’s potential ability to produce renewable ethanol at a scale that is economically viable.”
The acquisition of SAFFiRE comes shortly after Southwest announced an investment in LanzaJet, a SAF technology provider and producer with a patented ethanol-to-SAF technology and the world’s first ethanol-to-SAF commercial plant.

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