Red Rock Biofuels, maker of renewable biofuels, announced Monday that it will produce approximately three million gallons of low-carbon, renewable jet fuel per year for FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp.
The agreement runs through 2024, with first delivery expected in 2017. FedEx joins Southwest Airlines in purchasing Red Rock’s total available volume of jet fuel.
Red Rock’s first refinery, funded in part by a $70 million Title III DPA grant from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy, is scheduled to break ground this fall in Lakeview, Oregon and will convert close 140,000 dry tons of woody biomass into 15 million gallons per year of renewable jet, diesel and naphtha fuels.
In addition to reducing lifecycle carbon emissions, Red Rock claims its production process will reduce the risk of devastating forest fires in the western United States by decreasing the amount of waste woody biomass in surrounding forests.
This customer announcement comes on the heels of Red Rock’s strategic partnership with Flagship Ventures, a venture capital and venture creation firm focused on innovations in healthcare and sustainability, for financial and strategic expertise on securing additional partnerships, funding and customers.
Biofuels gradually are taking over a larger share of the aviation fuel market. Last year, Brazilian airline GOL became the first in the aviation industry to fly a commercial flight with farnesane, a recently approved aviation biofuel. The airline partnered with Amyris, a biotechnology company dedicated to producing renewable alternatives to petroleum-based fuels, to take the first step in developing a more sustainable aviation industry.