LanzaJet & Jet Zero Australia Sign Licence & Engineering Agreement to Advance Australia’s First Ethanol to Sustainable Aviation Fuel Plant

Feb 13, 2024
Jet Zero Australia
L to R: Stephen Forshaw (Airbus), Flyn van Ewijk (LanzaJet), Ed Mason (Jet Zero Australia), Michelle Bauer (Queensland Govt), Jonathon Curry (Qantas)

Jet Zero Australia Pty Ltd (Jet Zero) is pleased to announce the execution of a first-of-a-kind Licence and Engineering Agreement for Australia between Jet Zero and LanzaJet, Inc (LanzaJet).

The agreement will progress the development of Project Ulysses, a North Queensland Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) project using LanzaJet’s Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) technology, that converts the bioethanol into SAF and renewable diesel. The project is the first LanzaJet ethanol to SAF plant in the country and will help position Australia as a leader in sustainable aviation.

Project Ulysses is poised to revolutionise the aviation industry by converting agricultural by-products sourced from sustainable origins into 102 million litres of SAF annually – that’s the equivalent amount of SAF production, which on a maximum blend, could meet the annual jet fuel demands for Cairns and Townsville Airports. Furthermore, the SAF produced at the facility has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions on commercial flights by approximately 70% on a net lifecycle basis, relative to traditional fossil-based jet fuel.

The SAF from the plant will assist the Australian Government’s commitment to achieving its emissions reduction target of 43% of 2005 CO2 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. Recognising the urgent need for intervention, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water projects the transport sector to be Australia's largest source of emissions by 2030.

Beyond environmental benefits the project is set to make a substantial impact on North Queensland, generating over 100 skilled jobs and creating supply chain opportunities in the region. This not only strengthens the local economy but also facilitates the widespread adoption of green technology throughout the nation.

Project Ulysses contributes to Australia's energy security by bolstering domestic jet fuel production for civilian and potentially military aircraft. This strategic move ensures a reliable and sustainable source of aviation fuel, further enhancing the nation's resilience.

At the forefront of this transformative endeavour is LanzaJet, a pioneering sustainable fuels technology company committed to accelerating the energy transition through the circular economy. LanzaJet recently held the Grand Opening of the world’s first ethanol to SAF plant – based in the United States, which will serve as a blueprint for Project Ulysses in Australia, launching the nation’s first ethanol-to-SAF plant.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles said Queensland is perfectly primed to service the SAF industry.

"North Queensland is in a unique position to provide feedstock for this project, while also being close to the industry partners that are already investing in our state. This is another big step towards 1,000 construction jobs and 100 refinery jobs, bringing opportunities for agriculture, aviation, defence, and tourism. Queensland's renewable energy advantage means we can protect and grow regional jobs in high tech sectors like sustainable jet fuel."

Queensland’s Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, Grace Grace, said it was exciting to see the project move ahead after the Queensland Government provided $760,000 towards a project feasibility study.

“The Miles Government continues to work with Jet Zero Australia to progress this game-changing opportunity for Queensland. Today takes us a step closer to securing Queensland's future as the leader of a domestic SAF industry, creating good, local jobs and new export opportunities,” Ms Grace said.

Ed Mason, Jet Zero CEO commented “We are extremely excited to have executed these two key agreements with LanzaJet. Not only do they allow the project to move forward to Final Investment Decision, but more importantly they cement a long-standing relationship with a key partner to the project. We thank LanzaJet along with our project partners Qantas and Airbus in making this possible.”

Jimmy Samartzis
, CEO of LanzaJet said “At LanzaJet, we believe in building industry, protecting our climate, and enabling energy and national security - and our work in Australia delivers that ambition. Doing leading edge work requires partnership, and we're proud to join Jet Zero Australia, the Queensland Government, Airbus, and Qantas to position Australia as a leader in the region on Sustainable Aviation Fuels with direct impact in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enabling job creation, and preserving Australia's environment for generations to come.”

Stephen Forshaw
, Airbus Chief Representative, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific: "Australia lacks production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. The challenge to start production is urgent. If we don’t move soon, the opportunity to build a new fuels industry locally will disappear. However, we think Australia has every chance of becoming a sustainable fuels superpower, with the right support from government and industry. This is why we’re so supportive of Jet Zero’s mission to become Australia’s first home-grown producer of SAF, and equally supportive of their partnership with LanzaJet, that will enable production here."

Andrew Parker, Qantas Group Chief Sustainability Officer, commented:

“Sustainable aviation fuel is the most significant tool airlines have to reduce their emissions but it’s only available offshore with no local supply for airlines in Australia. Qantas is investing in technology like this Queensland biofuel refinery to help kickstart a local SAF industry so flights around Australia can be powered to produce lower emissions."