Red Rock Biofuels LLC will produce approximately three million gallons of low-carbon, renewable jet fuel per year for FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation. The agreement runs through 2024, with first delivery expected in 2017. FedEx joins Southwest Airlines, which signed a purchase agreement with RedRock in November 2014 for about 3 million gallons per year, in purchasing Red Rock’s total planned available volume of jet fuel. (Earlier post.)
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, Ore. and will convert approximately 140,000 dry tons of woody biomass into 15 million gallons per year of renewable jet, diesel and naphtha fuels.
The Red Rock process begins with the gasification of woody biomass to produce synthesis gas, which is then is cleaned and sent to a Fischer-Tropsch unit where it is converted to liquid hydrocarbons. Hydroprocessing refines the liquid hydrocarbons to produce jet, diesel, and naphtha fuels. Red Rock’s gas-to-liquids technology partner is Velocys.
In addition to reducing lifecycle carbon emissions, Red Rock’s 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.
As we look to break ground on our refinery in the coming months, we’re thrilled to have signed a contract with FedEx as they look to diversify their fuel supply and reduce emissions throughout their aviation unit. With our total jet fuel capacity now sold to FedEx and Southwest Airlines, we are building a suite of powerful, global customers that continue to commit to the future of alternative fuels in a market where oil prices are low, providing true validation of our business model and mission.—Terry Kulesa, co-founder and CEO of Red Rock
This customer announcement comes on the heels of Red Rock’s strategic partnership with Flagship Ventures, a leading 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.