South San Francisco- February 10, 2011- Solazyme, Inc., a leading renewable oils and bioproducts company, announced that it has begun a collaboration with Qantas, one of the world’s leading long distance airlines, to pursue the potential for commercial production of Solazyme’s microbial derived aviation fuel, Solajet™, in Australia. This represents the first collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region to explore the use of Solajet™ in commercial aviation.
“Qantas is establishing a leadership position in the airline industry in supporting the commercialization of renewable, sustainable aviation fuels. Through this alliance, we intend to use Solazyme’s technology platform to help provide the Australian market with renewable aviation biofuel,” said Jonathan Wolfson, chief executive officer of Solazyme. “We also believe this alliance is a helpful step towards the commercialization of Solajet™.”
There is currently a six billion liter a year demand for aviation fuel in Australia. Through this collaboration, both Qantas and Solazyme are striving to help meet this demand.
Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alan Joyce, said the collaboration was an exciting step forward for the airline’s environment strategy.
“Developing cleaner jet fuels is 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 commercialization of alternative fuel sources,” Mr Joyce said.
“We want to be at the forefront of this growing sector, which is why we have chosen to engage the most innovative companies in the field like Solazyme.
“Over the next year, we look forward to working with Solazyme – and with other important government and private sector stakeholders – to build the case for clean jet fuel production in Australia. We believe this is important not just for Qantas but for the Australian economy as a whole, given the global emergence of green technologies and their potential to drive growth and create jobs.”
Solazyme, Inc. is an industrial biotechnology company producing renewable oils and bioproducts using microalgae. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in South San Francisco, Solazyme’s technology allows algae to produce oil and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities quickly, efficiently and at large scale. These oils and biomaterials can be tailored not only for biofuel production, but also as replacements for fossil petroleum and plant oils in a diverse range of products running from clean fuels and chemicals to cosmetics and foods. Solazyme’s oils and fuels provide compelling solutions to increasingly complex issues of fuel scarcity, energy security and environmental impact, while fitting cleanly into the pre-existing multi-trillion dollar fuel infrastructure. A study undertaken in 2009 by Life Cycle Associates, LLC, using the Argonne National Laboratories GREET model, concluded that full lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from field-to-wheels for Solazyme’s algal biofuel, Soladiesel™, are 85 to 93 percent lower than standard petroleum based ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD).
Solazyme’s investors among others include Lightspeed Venture Partners, The Roda Group, Harris and Harris Group, VantagePoint Venture Partners, Zygote Ventures, CTTV Investments LLC, the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, San-Ei Gen, Unilever, Bunge, Braemar Energy Ventures, and Sir Richard Branson via The Roda Group.
- Qantas is Australia’s largest domestic and international airline and is recognised as one of the world’s leading long distance carriers.
- The Qantas Group employs approximately 35,000 people and offers services across a network spanning over 160 destinations in over 40 countries (including those covered by codeshare partners) in Australia, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Africa.
- Domestically, Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar operate more than 5,200 flights a week, serving 58 city and regional destinations in all states and mainland territories.
- Internationally, Qantas and Jetstar operate more than 900 flights each week.
- The Qantas Group operates a fleet comprising Boeing 747s, 767s, 737s and 717s, Airbus A380s, A330s and A320s, Bombardier Dash 8s and Bombardier Q400s.
- Qantas is a founding member of the one world alliance.
The OutCast Agency
Source: Solazyme, Inc., press release, 2011-02-10.