Macquarie Backs SkyNRG's SAF Journey

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Macquarie Backs SkyNRG's SAF Journey
Image courtesy of Ross Parmly on Unsplash

Macquarie Asset Management is set to facilitate the expansion of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) by committing an initial investment of up to €175 million in SkyNRG through the Macquarie GIG Energy Transition Solutions (MGETS) Fund.

This fresh infusion of funds, spearheaded by Macquarie Asset Management’s specialised Green Investments team, will propel SkyNRG into its next growth phase and contribute to realising its ambitious objective of becoming a major SAF producer through the establishment and operation of SAF production facilities.

SkyNRG envisions constructing dedicated SAF facilities in Europe and the US by 2030 in collaboration with key offtake partners. Notably, SkyNRG has already secured partnerships with industry giants like KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Boeing, indicating long-term commitments for SAF purchases totalling up to €4 billion.

Founded over 14 years ago by visionaries including Theye Veen and Maarten Van Dijk, SkyNRG has been a trailblazer in SAF development. Initially focused on cultivating a market for SAF, the company achieved a significant milestone by supplying the world’s first commercial flight using SAF in 2011. Expanding its scope, SkyNRG is now active in research and development, advisory services, and the sale of SAF globally, maintaining a prominent position in the SAF market.

The SAF industry is experiencing favourable conditions, benefiting from corporate commitments aligned with net-zero targets and increasing political and regulatory support.

Mandates such as the European blending mandate (ReFuelEU) and the Biden Administration’s SAF Grand Challenge, alongside the Inflation Reduction Act in the US, which incentivises SAF use through robust tax incentives, contribute to these tailwinds. SkyNRG estimates that by 2050, such incentives could drive demand for up to €650 billion in investments, expediting the aviation industry's shift away from fossil jet fuels.

Philippe Lacamp, CEO of SkyNRG, emphasised the urgency of developing SAF production capacity to meet the aviation industry's net-zero goals. He expressed pride in Macquarie's strategic investment, foreseeing that it, along with ongoing support from existing shareholders, will provide the resources and expertise needed for SkyNRG to emerge as a major player in the SAF industry.

Mark Dooley, Global Head of MAM Green Investments, highlighted Macquarie's history of supporting businesses at the forefront of the energy transition. This investment in SkyNRG marks a significant milestone for Macquarie, reflecting its commitment to backing innovative solutions in sustainable aviation.

The aviation sector, responsible for approximately 2.5% of global annual CO2 emissions, faces the imperative of transitioning to net zero. SAF, utilising renewable feedstocks, presents a viable pathway for decarbonising the sector by blending with or replacing fossil jet fuel. According to SkyNRG's Life Cycle Analysis, the use of its SAF in jets can result in a minimum emissions reduction of 75% compared to fossil jet fuel over its lifespan.

This transaction follows a series of strategic investments by Macquarie Asset Management in emerging green technologies across Europe, including support for green hydrogen and biomethane producers HyCC and VORN Bioenergy.

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Source: Macquarie

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