In a move aimed at reducing its carbon footprint, Southwest Airlines has inked an agreement with USA BioEnergy, a “renewable fuels development and integration group based in Scottsdale, Arizona,” to secure significant amounts of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
As part of the deal, USA BioEnergy would provide Southwest with 680 million gallons of neat sustainable aviation fuel over a 20-year period, starting in 2028.
“Our agreement with Southwest Airlines is a perfect fit because it aligns Southwest’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and USA BioEnergy’s goal of becoming the leading producer of carbon-negative fuel,” Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of USA BioEnergy David Prom said. “USA BioEnergy is excited to work with Southwest on this initial project and, potentially, future sites we may add in our pipeline.”
Once blended with traditional jet fuel, Southwest says the sustainable aviation fuel “could produce the equivalent of 2.59 billion gallons of net-zero fuel and avoid 30 million metric tons of CO2.”
The airline plans to kickstart its acquisition of SAF from USA BioEnergy’s facility near Bon Wier, Texas, in 2028. The deal also gives Southwest room to buy “up to another projected 180 million gallons of SAF per year from future planned production facilities.”
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Michael AuBuchon, Managing Director of Fuel Strategy and Management at Southwest Airlines, emphasized the significance of the agreement, stating:
“This offtake agreement with USA BioEnergy marks important progress in the development of our SAF portfolio and furthers our goal to replace 10 percent of our total jet fuel consumption with SAF by 2030. We look forward to the opportunity to grow our strategic relationship with USA BioEnergy and potentially purchase more SAF from them in the future.”
In the press release announcing the move, Southwest stresses that it recognizes the pivotal role of commercially viable SAF in its carbon reduction strategy and says that it is “taking action to forge relationships across the aviation value chain to proactively address the challenges on the path to its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700. Featured Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.