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United signs agreement to buy up to 1 billion gallons of SAF from Cemvita


Photo: United Airlines

Cemvita Corp. announced an offtake arrangement Sept. 13 with United Airlines for up to 1 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Cemvita’s first full-scale SAF plant.




Under the agreement, signed by Cemvita and United Airlines, Cemvita will supply up to 50 million gallons per year of SAF made from CO2 to United Airlines for 20 years.




“Since our initial investment last year, Cemvita has made outstanding progress, including opening their new pilot plant—an important step towards producing sustainable aviation fuel,” said Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures. “United is the global aviation leader in SAF production investment, but we face a real shortage of available fuel and producers. Cemvita’s technology represents a path forward for a potentially significant supply of SAF and it’s our hope that this offtake agreement for up to 1 billion gallons is just the beginning of our collaboration.”




Commercialized SAF is currently made from used cooking oil and agricultural waste.




“Cemvita's technology has the potential to provide more reliable feedstock production with minimal land, water, and electricity needs,” Cemvita stated. “Furthermore, the output of eCO2 plants has the potential to be carbon negative and Cemvita is aiming to be cost competitive with existing crop-based HEFA feedstocks and fuels, which is a crucial factor for the successful adoption of any new biomanufacturing process.”




Moji Karimi, CEO of Cemvita, added, “Biology is capable of truly amazing things. Our team of passionate, pioneering and persistent scientists and engineers are on a mission to create sustainable biosolutions that redefine possibilities. We are thrilled to partner with United Airlines in working towards transforming the aviation industry and accelerating the energy transition. This agreement featuring our unique SAF platform is a major milestone towards demonstrating our journey to full commercialization.”




United has aggressively pursued strategic investments in SAF producers and revolutionary technologies, including carbon capture, hydrogen-electric engines, electric regional aircraft, and air taxis.




This year, United launched its UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, a first-of-its-kind investment vehicle that is designed to leverage support from cross-industry businesses to support start-ups focused on decarbonizing air travel through SAF research, technology and production.




Cemvita was announced as part of the fund’s inaugural group of portfolio companies.




United has invested in more SAF production than any other airline globally, based on publicly announced airline-offtake agreements for future purchases of SAF.

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