GenZero, a decarbonization-focused investment platform company of Temasek based in Singapore, has backed the $50 million investment in CleanJoule, the United States-based startup focused on the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

CleanJoule said in a statement on Wednesday that the investment round was led by the principals of Indigo Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm.

The round also included participation fronm Cleanhill Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm focused on decarbonization and three airlines – U.S.-based Frontier Airlines, Europe-based Wizz Air and Mexico-based Volaris.

According to CleanJoule, the funds raised from the round will support the further development of the company’s technology to produce high-performance SAF from agricultural residues and other waste biomass more cost-effectively.

“The aviation industry presents a key frontier in carbon emissions mitigation. There has never been a more crucial time for us to lead the change than through viable sustainable fuel alternatives,” said Mukund Karanjikar, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CleanJoule.

“As we advance on the commercialization of our fuel technology, CleanJoule is well-positioned to scale the supply of SAFs in the market and shorten the runway in the transition towards a greener aviation industry,

“We are proud to have the support of our new investor partners, who not only share our mission but who have chosen to place their capital and trust in us to drive the transformation of global aviation,” he added.

The funding round marks an important chapter in the global effort to mitigate carbon emissions and deliver meaningful climate action.

SAF, a biofuel used to power commercial aircraft but with a smaller carbon footprint, could potentially contribute up to 65 percent of the reduction in emissions needed by the aviation sector to reach net zero in 2050, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Depending on the feedstock and technologies used to produce it, SAF can reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions dramatically compared to conventional jet fuel.

As part of the consortium’s investment, Frontier Airlines, Wizz Air and Volaris have signed binding agreements to purchase up to 90 million gallons of SAF.

The principals of Indigo Partners will also receive a board seat on CleanJoule’s Board of Directors.

“Decarbonizing aviation requires solutions that can be adopted at scale,

“CleanJoule’s fuel technology relies on widely available feedstock – agricultural waste – to produce a sustainable biofuel that could be cost-effective at scale with better fuel economy,” said Frederick Teo, chief executive officer of GenZero.

According to him, CleanJoule’s unique approach also allows for higher levels of substitution with conventional aviation fuel thus creating a greater decarbonization impact.

“We are delighted to support CleanJoule to achieve greater adoption of SAF globally,” he added.

Bill Franke, managing partner of Indigo Partners, said that Indigo Partners and its portfolio airlines are committed to decarbonizing air transportation, and the investment in CleanJoule will increase the supply of SAF to the industry.

“The company has developed a unique technology to convert abundantly available feedstocks into SAF with remarkable efficiency,

“We believe that CleanJoule will be a key player in the decarbonization puzzle of the aviation industry,” he added.

Ash Upadhyaya and Rakesh Wilson, managing partners of Cleanhill Partners, said as one of CleanJoule’s earliest investors, they recognized the high value of the company’s technology and the viability of its approach.

“We look forward to the next steps towards accelerating the commercialization of its SAF technology,” they said.

CleanJoule Inc., headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, is focused on developing a breakthrough technology to produce superior and cost-effective SAF.

Its manufacturing process offers high efficiency, feedstock flexibility, and a high degree of decarbonization.

GenZero is an investment platform company focused on accelerating decarbonization globally.

Founded by Temasek, the firm seeks to deliver positive climate impact alongside long-term sustainable financial returns by investing in opportunities with the potential to be nurtured into impactful and scalable solutions.

Driven by a common purpose to decarbonize for future generations, the firm recognizes the need for a holistic and integrated approach to achieve a net zero world.

At GenZero, it adopts a flexible investment approach across three focus areas to drive climate impact: (i) nature-based solutions that help protect and restore our natural ecosystems while benefiting local communities and biodiversity; (ii) technology-based solutions that deliver deep decarbonization impact; and (iii) carbon ecosystem enablers which refer to companies and solutions that support the development of an effective, efficient, and credible carbon ecosystem.

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