Gevo Breaks Ground on Net-Zero 1 Site in Lake Preston, South Dakota

Gevo held the groundbreaking of its first commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility, Net-Zero 1 (NZ1) in Lake Preston, South Dakota. Gevo’s management team was joined today by a large contingent of dignitaries and honored guests, including government officials, representatives from partner companies and customers, business leaders, local farmers, and members of the media to ceremoniously break ground.

Gevo broke ground for the Net-Zero 1 plant on the 245-acre site it acquired in Lake Preston, South Dakota, in July.

While under construction, the NZ1 project is expected to employ 1,000 people. Once operation, the facility will be staffed with around 90 full-time employees. The facility will be constructed on 245 acres, considered very favorable for producing low-carbon SAF. Site preparation will begin now, and official construction expected to begin in 2023.

Building production facilities like Net-Zero 1 is a key element of Gevo’s business plan. The production facility will use de-fossilized energy, create a business system that rewards sustainability improvements, and will be equitable for all parties in the value chain. All the elements of the circular economy come together in this one facility, farmers deliver sustainably grown corn feedstock, renewable wind power and renewable natural gas provide electricity and thermal energy for the facility, and high-value nutrition products, corn oil, and sustainable aviation fuel leave the gate. It’s the Gevo circular economy model in action, increasing the sustainability of every product we make while simultaneously reducing the impact of fossil fuels.

Gevo CEO Dr. Patrick R. Gruber, right, welcomes Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden of South Dakota to the ceremony.

Since Gevo has supply offtake agreements that require additional capacity beyond NZ1, the management team is actively working to identify and develop a second site. The goal is to build production capacity to meet supply obligations, and the projects also deliver value to local farmers and communities. South Dakota is providing all the elements for success required for this first commercial facility.

The associated wind-energy project is in development to provide electricity to the facility. The site also incorporates plans to produce green hydrogen from water and renewable natural gas. Net-Zero 1 will show the world that the leading edge of the energy transition is in the heartland of America, where farmers and facility technicians come together with airline customers, investors, and many others to lead the way forward.

Gevo expects to build out projects to fulfill existing supply agreements for sustainable aviation fuel.

This project schedule is expected to allow Gevo to begin delivery of initial volumes of SAF in 2025 to fulfill a portion of existing supply agreements. Net-Zero 1 is expected to produce 55 MGPY of SAF, or 65 MGPY of total hydrocarbon volumes.

In 2023, Gevo expects to close the construction financing for the NZ1 project and begin construction of NZ1.