Canadian Biomass Magazine

Gevo breaks ground on commercial-scale SAF facility, Net-Zero 1

September 19, 2022
By Gevo

Gevo, Inc. is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of its first commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility, Net-Zero 1 (NZ1), in Lake Preston, S.D. Gevo’s management team was joined on Sept. 15 by government officials, representatives from partner companies and customers, business leaders, local farmers, and members of the media to ceremoniously break ground.

The NZ1 project is expected to employ 1,000 people during the construction phase with approximately 90 full-time employees once operational. The facility will be constructed on 245 acres, very favourable for producing low-carbon SAF with site preparation beginning now and official construction expected to begin in 2023.

“This is an important milestone that our team has worked hard to achieve,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, Gevo’s chief executive officer. “Building production facilities like Net-Zero 1 that will use de-fossilized energy, create a business system that rewards sustainability improvements and is equitable for all parties in the value chain is important to us. As all the elements come together, from farmers growing sustainable corn feedstock, to renewable wind power and renewable natural gas providing electricity and thermal energy for the facility, to the high-value nutrition products, corn oil, and sustainable aviation fuel leaving the gate, we expect to see our circular economy in action, increasing the sustainability of every product we make while simultaneously reducing the impact of fossil fuels.”

“South Dakota provides all the elements for success required for our first commercial facility, but we’re actively working to identify and develop our second site since we have supply offtake agreements that require additional capacity beyond Net-Zero 1,” said Dr. Chris Ryan, president and chief operating officer “As we build our production capacity to meet our supply obligations, we know these projects also deliver value to local farmers and communities. We’re excited to move forward and provide that value,” added Dr. Ryan.

The associated wind energy project that will provide electricity to the facility is in development. Plans for the site also incorporate green hydrogen produced from water and renewable natural gas. Net-Zero 1 will show the world that the leading edge of the energy transition is in the heartland of America, where farmers and facility technicians come together with airline customers, investors, and many others to lead the way forward.

This project schedule is expected to allow Gevo to begin delivery of initial volumes of SAF in 2025 to fulfill a portion of existing supply agreements. Net-Zero 1 is expected to produce 55 MGPY of SAF, or 65 MGPY of total hydrocarbon volumes.

In 2023, Gevo expects to close the construction financing for the NZ1 project and begin construction of NZ1.

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