Southwest Signs Deal to Purchase up to 680 Million Gallons Of Sustainable Aviation Fuel Made from Wood Waste
Southwest Airlines announced an offtake agreement today with renewable fuel developer USA BioEnergy to purchase up to 680 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over 20 years, beginning as soon as 2028.
According to Southwest, the new agreement will avoid 30 million tons of CO2 emissions over the life of the contract.
The deal is the latest in a series of SAF purchase agreements for Southwest over the past few years, with providers including Velocys, Neste, Marathon Petroleum and Phillips 66. Last year, Southwest also invested in SAFFiRE Renewables, a company aimed at piloting and commercializing technology for the production of low-cost sustainable aviation fuel, and formed as part of a Department of Energy (DOE)-backed project to develop and produce scalable SAF. Southwest has set a goal to replace 10% of its jet fuel consumption with SAF by 2030.
Michael AuBuchon, Managing Director Fuel Strategy and Management at Southwest Airlines, said:
“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.”
Arizona-based USA BioEnergy develops advanced biorefineries specializing in converting sustainably sourced wood waste into renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and naphtha. According to the company, its renewable fuels reduce emissions by 80% compared to traditional fossil fuels.
Under the new agreement, USA BioEnergy will supply SAF to Southwest from its facility near Bon Wier, Texas. The companies also announced a long-term strategic relationship, providing Southwest with the opportunity to purchase up to another projected 180 million gallons of SAF per year from future planned production facilities.
David Prom, Chairman of the Board, Co-Founder of USA BioEnergy, said:
“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. USA BioEnergy is excited to work with Southwest on this initial project and, potentially, future sites we may add in our pipeline.”