Macquarie Asset Management will support the growth of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with an initial investment of up to €175 million in SkyNRG via the Macquarie GIG Energy Transition Solutions (MGETS) Fund.
This new investment led by Macquarie Asset Management’s specialist Green Investments team will support SkyNRG’s next phase of growth and help achieve its ambitious goal to become a major SAF producer through the development and operation of SAF production facilities. By 2030 SkyNRG aims to build its dedicated SAF facilities in Europe and the US, in cooperation with strategic offtake partners. To date, SkyNRG has secured partnerships with, amongst others, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Boeing with envisaged long term commitments of up to €4 billion in SAF purchases.
SkyNRG has been at the forefront of the development of SAF since it was founded over 14 years ago by, amongst others, Theye Veen and Maarten Van Dijk. They initially focused on creating a market for SAF and supplied the world’s first commercial flight using SAF in 2011. Since then, SkyNRG has expanded and is active in R&D, advisory services and in selling SAF. Today, the company provides SAF to airlines and corporates around the world and is still one of the leading and most active participants on the SAF market.
The SAF industry is benefitting from significant tailwinds, including voluntary corporate offtake commitments aligned to net-zero targets and growing political and regulatory support. This includes the European blending mandate (ReFuelEU) that requires the use of SAF, and the Biden Administration’s SAF Grand Challenge and the Inflation Reduction Act in the US, which is encouraging the use of SAF via strong tax incentives. By 2050, SkyNRG estimates that such incentives will create demand for up to €650 billion of investment in the sector and accelerate the aviation industry’s transition away from fossil jet fuels.
“It is critical that SAF production capacity is developed now to enable the aviation industry to meet its net-zero goals. We are very proud that Macquarie has made this strategic investment in our business and are confident that they, with the ongoing support of our existing shareholders, will provide us with the resources and expertise we need to accelerate our growth journey towards becoming a major player in the SAF industry,” said Philippe Lacamp, CEO of SkyNRG.
“We have a track record for backing businesses working at the forefront of the energy transition. This is an exciting milestone for us, as our first SAF investment. SkyNRG has been a pioneer in SAF, with an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong commercial focus. We look forward to collaborating with the SkyNRG team as they grow their business and advance solutions to decarbonise the aviation industry,” Mark Dooley, global head of MAM Green Investments, said.
The aviation sector contributes around 2.5 per cent of global annual CO2 emissions and as the transition to net zero accelerates, SAF offers a route towards decarbonising the sector. SAF uses renewable feedstocks and can be mixed in with or replace fossil jet fuel. Based on SkyNRG’s own Life Cycle Analysis, the use of its SAF in jets can result in a minimum emissions reduction of 75 per cent compared to fossil jet fuel over its life span.
The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions and the satisfaction of transaction terms.
SkyNRG intends to reduce the emissions of all flights taken in relation to closing this transaction using its online platform, Fly On SAF. Fly On SAF calculates the approximate emissions from a flight and allows the customer to pay for the equivalent carbon emissions reduction of their journey through purchasing SAF.
BofA Securities Europe S.A. acted as sole private placement agent to SkyNRG. Clifford Chance LLP acted as legal advisor to SkyNRG. RBC Capital Markets acted as sole financial advisor and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP as legal counsel to Macquarie Asset Management.