LanzaTech Part of South Wales Industrial Decarbonisation Project

Proposed facility will yield around 100 million litres per annum of ATJ Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK) to build out the entire supply chain from feedstock to wing

  • US developed Sustainable Aviation Fuel technology to be implemented in UK to support net zero targets in aviation.
  • Development and scale-up of technology supported by U.S Department of Energy. 
  • UK Government support including Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation, Department of Transport and Jet Zero Council has helped progress project to commercialization. 

LanzaTech has been working with the UK government and several industrial partners to build and commission the world’s first commercial-scale, ethanol-based ATJ (Alcohol to Jet) production facility in South Wales. The plant will use ethanol feedstock produced from steel mill waste gases and other wastes. This process therefore contributes to industrial decarbonisation, as well as creating a more sustainable aviation fuel. The proposed facility will yield around 100 million litres per annum of ATJ Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK) to build out the entire supply chain from feedstock to wing. Using a 30% blend target, the 100 million litres of ATJ-SPK will yield c.330 million litres per annum of blended SAF and will create around 15 direct jobs and up to 900 indirect job during construction and operation.

The SAF from this facility will be used by UK based airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, who we have partnered with for over a decade. In October 2018, the first batch of LanzaTech jet fuel, made by recycling waste industrial gases, was used on a Virgin Atlantic commercial flight from Orlando to London Gatwick.

The LanzaTech ATJ facility will be further developed within Phase 2 of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC), a consortium involving 17 partners led by Costain. This phase of SWIC is supported by £20m grant funding from Innovate UK (with a further £17.6m provided by industry) and aims to reduce industrial emissions at sites throughout South Wales, supporting Welsh NetZero targets. Within SWIC, LanzaTech will select the final project site, perform site-specific engineering, and obtain facility permits, with support from Costain. The funding is being awarded through UKRI’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) decarbonisation of industrial clusters phase two: deployment competition. It is delivered by the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge.

The sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from this project is made via the LanzaJet™ Alcohol to Jet (AtJ) Process, which can use any source of sustainable ethanol, including, but not limited to, ethanol made from non-edible agricultural residues such as wheat straw and recycled industrial emissions which are otherwise unavoidable. Commercialisation of AtJ has been years in the making, starting with the partnership between LanzaTech (which launched LanzaJet in June 2020) and the U.S Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).  In 2018, LanzaTech, Virgin Atlantic and partners received a £410k grant from the UK Department for Transport (DfT) Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C) for the project feasibility study.

LanzaTech will build and operate this first UK deployment of the LanzaJet™ ATJ technology. Then, both LanzaTech and its spin-out company, LanzaJet,  will develop multiple follow-on projects in the UK and globally as the market for sustainable jet fuel develops, primarily via a licensing model in which customers build, own, and operate facilities that use the LanzaJet™ technology. In February 2020, British Airways announced its investment in LanzaJet. LanzaTech CEO and Chair of the LanzaJet Board, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren sits on the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council with LanzaTech representatives’ part of the Jet Zero Council working groups.

“Aviation presents unique decarbonisation challenges and it will take a global approach to help this key hard-to-abate sector meet net zero targets,” Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech CEO said. “It is thanks to the support and close partnership with the US Department of Energy and its PNNL energy laboratory that we are now able to bring our unique platform to the UK, with the combined support of industry and the UK government, including Innovate UK and United Kingdom Research and Innovation. This model of government and industry collaboration is precisely what the world needs to rapidly speed the pace of technology development and deployment.”

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart
Developing South Wales into a net zero industrial zone will create thousands of jobs as well as delivering improvements in the local environment. LanzaTech’s plans could play a key part in driving this transformation. Reaching the UK Government’s climate targets will require significant change across our economy, but in South Wales and elsewhere we will achieve our aims in a way that protects jobs, creates new industries, and encourages growth.

Robert Courts, Aviation Minister
Sustainable Aviation Fuels have enormous potential to cut carbon emissions, support the creation of thousands of jobs and help us to build back better and greener. LanzaTech’s innovative technology gets us one step closer to being able to produce sustainable aviation fuels at scale and deliver our world-leading decarbonisation programme, all while boosting local jobs in South Wales.

Chris Williams, Head of Industrial Decarbonisation, Industry Wales
Developing the supply chain for a technology that not only creates sustainable aviation fuels, to help decarbonisation the aviation sector, at the same time as it decarbonises our existing heavy industries, is a hugely exciting opportunity for the South Wales Industrial Cluster.  This is a fantastic example of an innovative technology that is developing a novel cross sector solution to support the UK reach its net zero target.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic 
Virgin Atlantic has been a longstanding supporter of LanzaTech and their ground-breaking technology to help develop waste-based sustainable aviation fuels. The Government now has a significant opportunity to create a UK-based production capability, which can lead the way in the decarbonisation of the UK airline sector, create jobs and lead the green industrial revolution. As US firms start to build out their overseas capability, we would urge the UK Government to accelerate its support for first-of-a-kind production facilities and put in place a favourable regulatory regime and financial guarantees to do so.

Maxine Mayhew, Managing Director for Natural Resources, Costain
The SWIC holds the potential to strengthen the economic resilience of Welsh industry and its communities by ensuring operations in the region are sustainable for the long term. As lead for deployment, Costain is bringing together global industrial partners, specialist consultants and academia to deliver faster, cleaner, more efficient, and exciting innovations that have the potential to decarbonise these industries nationally and internationally.

Jimmy Samartzis, CEO, LanzaJet
Our global society can no longer wait to act on climate change. The time is now, and we need to work together to develop new solutions and new industries to support hard to decarbonize sectors like aviation. The acceleration of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels industry is at an inflection point where government support to develop the industry is critical and we’re grateful for the UK Government’s actions and support, serving as a model for other countries to follow.


LanzaTech, press release, 2021-06-15.


DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO)
Industry Wales
Innovate UK
Jet Zero Council (UK Government)
LanzaTech Ltd.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory PNNL
UK Department of Transport
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Virgin Atlantic Airlines


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