Project Speedbird – a joint partnership between Nova Pangaea Technologies (NPT), LanzaJet and British Airways (BA) – has secured new funding totalling £9 million from the Government’s Advanced Fuels Fund (AFF) competition.
NPT, a Teesside-based cleantech company developing advanced biofuels used to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), was awarded £7.5 million as part of the partnership, and LanzaJet, the world’s leading ethanol to SAF technology company and sustainable fuels producer, will receive £1.5 million. It is hoped that the funding will help establish the UK as a world-leader in SAF production and the decarbonisation of aviation.
It follows the multi-million-pound investments from International Airlines Group (IAG) and British Airways earlier this year into NPT and Project Speedbird, respectively. IAG – British Airways’ parent company – is also a founding investor and shareholder of LanzaJet dating back to 2021.
The SAF will be developed using a combination of NPT’s innovative technology, which converts agricultural waste and wood residue feedstocks into second-generation biofuels such as ethanol, and LanzaJet’s proprietary technology that converts ethanol into SAF. The NPT ethanol will be initially processed into SAF using LanzaJet’s Alcohol to Jet (ATJ) plant in Georgia, USA – the first of its kind in the world – prior to Project Speedbird’s own larger ATJ facility, planned to be built in the UK by 2027. British Airways is intending to purchase all the SAF produced through Project Speedbird to help power some of its flights.
Project Speedbird will produce 102 million litres of SAF per year, which will reduce CO2 emissions, on a net lifecycle basis, by 230,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent of approximately 26,000 British Airways domestic flights.*
Project Speedbird will produce SAF at full capacity by 2028, supporting progress towards the UK’s SAF mandate which will require at least 10% of jet fuel used by airlines to be made from sustainable feedstocks by 2030.