Brookfield Asset Management’s renewable business also made a commitment to inject a further $500m if certain milestones are met
Brookfield Renewable, a division of Brookfield Asset Management, and its institutional partners have committed to invest $500m (€515m) in LanzaTech NZ, a company that converts waste carbon into usable commodities, and made a commitment to invest a further $500m if agreed milestones are reached.
This investment is channelled through Brookfield Global Transition Fund (BGTF) which raised $15bn at final close in June, making it the largest private fund ever raised to support the transition to net zero, according to Brookfield.
BGTF is co-led by Mark Carney, vice chair of Brookfield Asset Management and a former governor of the Bank of England, and Connor Teskey, CEO of Brookfield Renewable.
Brookfield is to be LanzaTech’s preferred capital partner for LanzaTech ‘carbon capture and transformation’ (CCT) developments in Europe and North America.
LanzaTech was founded in New Zealand by two scientists who developed a method of using bacteria found in rabbit guts to break down dirty waste carbon emissions into ethanol.
Since the company relocated to Chicago in 2014, its biocatalyst technology has been used to convert captured emissions into a range of fuels and chemicals for use in manufacturing fabrics, packaging and other products. In this way, emissions from heavy industry such as steel mills are used to make products that would otherwise be derived from fossil fuel inputs.
Gas fermentation plants
The first plant using the technology was opened in China in 2018 to convert steel mill emissions into aviation fuel. Two further commercial plants, both also in China, came online in 2021 and 2022. The company says it is building further plants around the world.
The first two commercial-scale gas fermentation plants have produced over 30 million gallons of ethanol, which, LanzaTech says, is the equivalent of offsetting atmospheric emissions of over 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Ethanol produced at the plants have been used by firms including Unilever for detergents, Zara for polyester fabric and L‘Oreal for packaging, among many others.
LanzaTech’s CEO Jennifer Holmgren said Brookfield’s investment would enable “exponential growth” of the technology’s deployment.
“Together, we have the potential to target significant commodity markets and keep fossil resources in the ground. Each additional plant deployed has the potential to keep the equivalent of around 100,000 tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year. This is the new carbon economy in action,” she said.
LanzaTech spun out a sustainable aviation fuel company, LanzaJet, in 2020, investors and funders for which included All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Mitsui & Co, Suncor Energy, Shell, and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund.
In March, LanzaTech announced plans to acquire a public listing by merging with a special purpose acquisition company AMCI Acquisition Corp II. At the time, the company said that transaction, due to be completed in coming weeks, was expected to raise gross proceeds of approximately $275 million.