Lanzajet Appoints New CFO, Bags Microsoft Investment

Chicago-based fuel technology firm Lanzajet, Inc. has appointed Doreen Pryor as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  

Pryor will oversee LanzaJet’s financial growth as the company continues to scale and boost the global sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) industry, the company said in a news release.

Pryor brings deep global financial experience in renewable energy and emerging industries with over 20 years of commercial and financial experience at global companies, the release noted.

Prior to joining Lanzajet, Pryor was CFO for North America at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Inc., a global technology leader in the renewable energy industry. She led the financial planning and analysis of Siemens Gamesa’s offshore wind business unit before assuming the role of CFO North America in 2022. She performed these critical roles in addition to Managing Director and Board Member responsibilities, according to the release.

“Our team at LanzaJet is critical to our ability to scale our company and this industry,” LanzaJet CEO Jimmy Samartzis said. ​“Doreen’s extensive experience in managing financial teams within an emerging industry will be a tremendous asset as we move toward scaling the SAF transition and build commercial capacity”.

​“It is a dream opportunity for me to join a company that is leading the scaling of an entire industry with purpose,” LanzaJet Chief Financial Officer Doreen Pryor stated. ​“LanzaJet is in a critical and exciting period as sustainable aviation fuel becomes the present and future solution to decarbonizing the aviation industry”.

Pryor spent seven years at Siemens companies based in the USA, Denmark, and Germany, before transitioning to Siemens Gamesa. She spent nearly 15 years at Siemens companies leading and extending the global footprint of the wind business.

Microsoft Investment

Last month, LanzaJet secured an investment from Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, according to an earlier statement. The two companies plan to explore how Microsoft can supply its data and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to improve LanzaJet’s corporate functions and ethanol-to-SAF process technology.

This investment in LanzaJet follows a $50 million project finance investment from Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund in 2022 to support the construction of LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels in Soperton, Georgia, the world’s first ethanol to SAF production plant, which opened in January 2024. LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels will begin annual production of 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel in the second quarter of 2024.

“Our continued alignment with Microsoft allows LanzaJet to build our team and capability at pace to support global deployment of our leading sustainable fuels process technology,” Samartzis said. ​“Through its support of LanzaJet’s first-of-a-kind ethanol to SAF biorefinery, LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels, Microsoft has played a significant role in making SAF production a reality in the United States, and this investment reemphasizes its urgent commitment to decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors”.

Microsoft’s investment in LanzaJet enables it to gain access to sustainable fuels – SAF and Renewable Diesel – as well as SAF Certificates (SAFc) from future LanzaJet projects. Access to these products will help Microsoft on the path to becoming carbon negative by 2030, according to the release.

“Microsoft is proud to support LanzaJet with our investment in the growth of its sustainable fuel technology business,” Brandon Middaugh, senior director of Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, said. ​“Microsoft is investing in partners who share our commitment to advancing a net-zero economy and who are building the market for critical solutions like SAF and renewable diesel”.

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