Qantas has announced a new joint venture with US based renewable energy company Solazyme, as it aims to investigate opportunities for algae-based biofuels.
The arrangement will see Qantas and Solazyme work closely together over the next 12 months to develop a business case for the introduction of Solazyme’s algal-derived ‘Solajet’ biofuel technology in Australia. The move comes as part of Qantas Group’s strategy to help accelerate the commercialisation of ‘drop-in’ alternative jet fuels as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It follows the airline’s similar arrangement with Solena Group for waste-based sustainable fuel.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said both joint-venture agreements matched the airline’s long term environmental strategy, citing the need to develop sustainable jet fuels as “vitally important for the global aviation industry and for the Qantas Group”.
“The costs and environmental impacts associated with traditional jet fuel mean it is imperative that we push hard now for the commercialisation of alternative fuel sources,” Joyce said.
“Through this alliance, we intend to use Solazyme’s technology platform to help provide the Australian market with renewable aviation biofuel,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme. “We also believe this alliance is a helpful step towards the commercialisation of Solajet.”