Virgin Group and Agilyx to form strategic partnership to produce lower carbon fuel

Plastic rubbish pictured in front of an agilyx sign
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
15 February 2022

Virgin Group has announced it is forming a strategic partnership with Agilyx to research and develop lower carbon fuel facilities to help address plastic pollution and the global transition to net zero.

Virgin Group and Agilyx (a chemical conversion technology company) want to produce synthetic crude oil from plastic waste that will then be refined into a lower carbon fuel. Waste plastic will be diverted from landfill and will help to broaden options in the market for lower carbon fuels from the limited range currently available. Although the fuel will not be exclusive to Virgin, Virgin Atlantic and other Virgin companies are expected to be early adopters as part of the Group’s transitional plans to achieve net zero by 2050.

Virgin Group
Virgin Group

Josh Bayliss, CEO of the Virgin Group, said: “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. 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.”

Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, added: “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 to lead 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.”

Virgin Group intends to work with Agilyx, one of its venture capital investments, on developing the production facilities based on its unique conversion technology. 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.

Tim Stedman, CEO of Agilyx, said: “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.” 

The exclusive technology is able to break down plastic waste through a pyrolysis process. This converts mixed waste into a synthetic crude oil which, once further refined, can be used as a lower carbon fuel.

Watch Holly Branson’s interview with Agilyx CEO Tim Stedman.

Visit Agilyx to learn more.