Twelve initiates construction of SAF plant in Moses Lake.

Silicon Valley startup Twelve has commenced the construction of a facility intended for the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This development follows just three weeks after the firm revealed its plans at the Paris Air Show. The production plant is being established at Moses Lake, on the grounds of a former sugar beet mill.

SAF, a renewable energy source designed to replace conventional fossil fuels, is at the forefront of aviation's drive towards decarbonization. Currently, its production remains limited. However, Twelve's venture into Moses Lake marks the first significant step towards scaling up SAF production in the state.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, state leaders and industry heavyweights, including Gov. Jay Inslee and sustainability chiefs from Microsoft and Alaska Air Group, lauded the project as a potential game-changer for the aviation sector and the state. In the wake of climatic disasters such as the Southern U.S. heat dome and floods in New England, Inslee emphasized the urgency for proactive measures against climate change, branding Twelve's project as "the dawn of new aviation."

Ann Ardizzone, Alaska Air's Vice President of Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain Management, underscored the uphill battle towards sustainability. With the airline industry consuming approximately 20 billion gallons of jet fuel annually, the meager 10 million gallons of SAF produced last year falls significantly short. SkyNRG, a Dutch company, has proposed an ambitious goal to operationalize a larger SAF plant in Washington by 2029, aiming for an annual production of 30 million gallons.

Twelve's initial production target for the Moses Lake plant stands at 40,000 gallons of SAF per year, equivalent to about three truckloads. Nicholas Flanders, Twelve's CEO, assured attendees of the groundbreaking event that the company would endeavor to expand its production capacity over time.

Twelve has pioneered a method of jet fuel production that utilizes renewable electricity, water, and waste biomass CO2, instead of conventional fossil fuels. This procedure involves the electrolysis of water and CO2 to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which are then combined to create 'syngas,' a synthetic hydrocarbon gas that can be processed into jet fuel. Twelve is collaborating with Tulsa-based Emerging Fuels Technology, which will lend its approved methodology for the conversion of syngas into jet fuel.