Virgin Group, Agilyx, Cyclyx to develop lower-carbon fuel facilities to help address plastic pollution, global transition to net zero; partnership aims to upcycle plastic waste to produce synthetic crude oil that will be refined into lower carbon fuel

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United Kingdom , February 18, 2022 (press release) –

Virgin Group and chemical conversion technology company Agilyx have announced they are forming a strategic partnership in order to research and develop lower-carbon fuel facilities to help address plastic pollution and the global transition to net-zero

Virgin Group and Agilyx aim to reuse plastic waste to produce synthetic crude oil that will then be refined into a lower carbon fuel.  Plastic waste that otherwise would be un-recycled will be diverted from landfill and will help broaden options in the market for lower carbon fuels from the limited range available today.  Virgin Group wants to provide lower carbon fuel solutions to the global-market and expects Virgin Atlantic and other Virgin companies to be early adopters, as part of the Group’s transitional plans of achieving net zero by 2050.  

Virgin Group intends to work with Agilyx – whom it has been an investor in for many years – on the development of the production facilities based on its unique conversion technology.  Cyclyx, an innovative feedstock company that is majority owned by Agilyx, will source the plastic waste used for the fuel in the first facility.

The first waste-to-fuel location is planned to be in the US, with an aspiration to roll-out similar plants in other countries, including the UK.

Agilyx’s proprietary technology is able to break down plastic waste through a pyrolysis process.  Pyrolysis converts mixed waste plastic into a synthetic crude oil which, once further refined, can be used as a lower carbon fuel. 

Josh Bayliss, CEO of the Virgin Group, says: “Innovation and entrepreneurship are important tools to address the climate crisis.  Virgin and other companies have an important role to play in meeting those challenges, which is exactly why we are forming this strategic partnership with Agilyx.  The creation of lower carbon fuel is an important step in the journey towards net zero.  We are very pleased to be adding this project to the range of investments we continue to make aimed at addressing these issues.”

Tim Stedman, CEO of Agilyx, says: “We are pleased to be partnering with the Virgin Group to enable a technology solution for lower carbon fuels as it transitions on its journey to net zero.  This platform is unique as it will be used for lower carbon fuels and has the future opportunity for the production of circular plastics.  We view plastic waste as a valuable above ground resource that is not widely tapped into.  Through our technology, we aim to unlock the value of plastic waste that otherwise may have been destined for landfill or incineration.” 

Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, says: “In this decade, Sustainable Aviation Fuel is the key solution for decarbonisation of the aviation sector but we have a long way to go.  Clearing the skies for tomorrow requires radical collaboration across innovators, producers, investors and airlines.  We are delighted that Virgin Group and Agilyx are leading the charge to pilot new pathways in lower carbon fuels and we look forward to working closely with them to achieve our 10% SAF target by 2030.”

-ends-

For further information:

Charlotte Sjoberg
Communications Director, UK, Virgin
+44 7766 240821
charlotte.sjoberg@virgin.com

Kate Ringier
VP, Communications & Government Affairs, Agilyx
+ 41 43 883 0396
kate.ringier@agilyx.com

Virgin Atlantic
For further press information about Virgin Atlantic, please contact the Virgin Atlantic press office on press.office@fly.virgin.com  or call 01293 747373.   

Ryan Kisiel
Head of Sustain, Maitland /AMO
+44 (0) 207 379 5151
ryan.kisiel@maitland.co.uk

Notes to editors

Virgin companies which are expected to be early adopters of the lower carbon fuel include Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin Orbit.  Virgin Voyages will also explore how the lower carbon fuel could advance its net zero goals.

About Virgin

The Virgin Group is a leading international investment group and one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands. Created in 1970 with the birth of Virgin Records, the Virgin Group has gone on to invest in, incubate, and grow a number of successful businesses in the private and public markets. The Virgin Group has expanded into many sectors since its inception, driven by Sir Richard’s ambition to create the world’s most irresistible brand. These sectors include travel & leisure, financial services, health & wellness, technology & internet-enabled, music & entertainment, media & mobile, space, and renewable energy. Avoiding the impacts of climate change is a key priority for the Virgin branded businesses and we believe that all Virgin branded companies should achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, further details on this will be published in the Virgin Group sustainability report later this year. Find out more at www.virgin.com.

About Agilyx

Agilyx is a technology company that enables customers to recycle difficult-to-recycle post-use plastics to high value, virgin-equivalent products. With a focus on diversion and conversion of plastic waste, Agilyx is uniquely positioned with a molecular recycling technology offering and an integrated feedstock solution by way of Cyclyx, an innovative feedstock management consortium of partners that drives up global plastic recycling rates by chemically fingerprinting plastic waste and matching it to appropriate recycling processes. Agilyx was the first to establish a commercial scale closed loop plastic-to-plastic chemical recycling facility and holds more than 17 patents.  Agilyx conversion technology utilises pyrolysis without a catalyst and can convert mixed waste plastic to naphtha and fuels or depolymerize specific plastics such as polystyrene and PMMA (acrylic) back into virgin-quality products. Learn more at www.agilyx.com.

About Virgin Atlantic  

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2021, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the fifth year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs 6,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 27 destinations across four continents. Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to more than 200 cities around the world. On 3 February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem points / miles across all carriers.     

Sustainability remains central to Virgin Atlantic, having taken an industry leadership position through its long-standing support for SAF commercialisation and fleet transformation programme. Since September 2019, the airline has welcomed eight new Airbus A350-1000 with a further A350-100 and three A339s entering the fleet in 2021. By the end of 2022 the average fleet age will be just over six years, driving a fuel efficiency (CO2 /RTK) improvement of 30% compared with 2007.  For more information visit www.virginatlantic.com or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @virginatlantic.

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