United Airlines Announces Largest Transatlantic Expansion

United Airlines Becomes First To Invest in Biofuel Refinery

United Airlines Ventures (UAV) has announced a strategic investment in Houston-based NEXT Renewable Fuels (NEXT), becoming the first U.S. carrier to invest in a biofuel refinery.

NEXT is currently permitting a flagship biofuel refinery in Port Westward, Oregon that’s expected to begin production in 2026, producing up to 50,000 barrels per day of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), renewable diesel and other renewable fuels.


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UAV said it could invest as much as $37.5 million into NEXT so long as the company meets certain milestone targets.

NEXT’s biorefinery is expected to provide access to a deep-water port, an existing industrial-grade dock, and multi-modal logistics options facilitating access to feedstock options and fast-growth SAF offtake markets on the west coast. NEXT has already secured an agreement with BP for sourcing 100 percent of its feedstock and has received a crucial air permit from the State of Oregon.

“Right now, one of the biggest barriers to increasing supply and lowering costs of sustainable fuel is that we don’t have the infrastructure in place to transport it efficiently, but NEXT’s strategic location and assets solve that problem and provide a blueprint for future facilities that need to be built,” Michael Leskinen, President of United Airline Ventures, said in a statement. “We believe this investment will not only bolster NEXT’s ambitions and create near-term solutions to expand our SAF supply, but further demonstrates our commitment toward producing SAF at the scale necessary to decarbonize the aviation industry.”

“The clean fuels industry is taking off and our access to feedstocks, multi-modal distribution, and major industry players positions us to be a leading SAF supplier on the West Coast,” added Christopher Efird, CEO and Chairperson of NEXT. “United’s investment in NEXT strengthens our resolve to be one of the clean fuels leaders in the transportation sector.”

The latest move represents UAV’s fifth SAF-related technology investment and its first investment directly in a biorefinery.

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