Southwest Airlines® (NYSE: LUV) has signed an agreement with Red Rock Biofuels LLC (RRB) to purchase low carbon renewable jet fuel, made using forest residues that will help reduce the risk of destructive wildfires in the Western United States. The airline's agreement with RRB covers the purchase of approximately three million gallons per year. The blended product will be used at Southwest's Bay Area operations with first delivery expected in 2016.
"Our commitment to sustainability and efficient operations led us on a search for a viable biofuel that uses a sustainable feedstock with a high rate of success," said Bill Tiffany, Vice President of Supply Chain at Southwest Airlines. "Red Rock Biofuel's technology, economics, and approved use made entering into an agreement for purchase a win-win situation."
RRB's first plant will convert approximately 140,000 dry tons of woody biomass feedstock into at least 12 million gallons per year of renewable jet, diesel, and naphtha fuels.
RRB's CEO, Terry Kulesa said "From the outset, we have sought to build the best possible team of project partners. A conversation we started with Southwest on the premise of providing renewable jet fuel at cost parity with conventional jet fuel has evolved into a great partnership. We're happy to help Southwest diversify its fuel supply."
Southwest is a long-time member of Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) which is a government and industry coalition for the development and deployment of alternative jet fuel for commercial aviation. As a member of CAAFI, the airline has followed the progress of alternative fuel technologies. Red Rock Biofuels is the first viable opportunity the airline has found to meet its financial and sustainability objectives.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 44th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by nearly 46,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest and wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways operate nearly 3,600 flights a day, serving 93 destinations across the United States and five additional countries. Service to San Jose, Costa Rica, begins in March 2015, subject to government approvals.
Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, a majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi connectivity while over the United States that enables video-on-demand and a free, live TV offering of 13 channels compliments of DISH. Bags Fly Free® at Southwest Airlines (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply), and there are never change fees, although fare differences might apply. In September 2014, the airline proudly unveiled Heart, a new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcasing the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With 41 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2013 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at southwest.com/citizenship. Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
ABOUT Red Rock Biofuels
Red Rock Biofuels LLC (RRB) will refine forest residues into high value, low carbon renewable jet, diesel and naphtha fuels. Utilizing renewable forest residues as a feedstock will help improve ecosystem health and reduce the risk of destructive wildfires in our forests, and our renewable fuels will help our customers address their price volatility, energy security and climate change challenges. RRB's well-proven process technology platform, based on gasification, Fischer-Tropsch conversion and product upgrading, is unique in its ability to produce renewable, ASTM-specification jet and diesel fuels at cost parity with conventional fuels.
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