Cleanhill Partners, a private equity firm pursuing investments in the energy transition sector that contribute to decarbonization, announced a partnership with CleanJoule LLC, the world’s leading producer of full-performance sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). The deal provides CleanJoule with the financial, strategic and operational resources to accelerate the commercialization of its technology – advancing meaningful efforts to slow climate change and addressing energy shortages predicted to disrupt the aviation industry within the next 30 years. The investment comes on the heels of Cleanhill’s partnership with KORE Power, Inc., the leading U.S.-based developer of battery cell technology for the energy storage and electric transportation industries.
“As decarbonization of the aviation sector continues to present a daunting technological challenge and mounting environmental imperative, we are thrilled to be able to partner with Cleanhill and advance our shared vision of creating cost-effective clean energy solutions that can be deployed today,” said Dr. Mukund Karanjikar, CEO of CleanJoule. “Having led the way in developing the industry’s most eco-friendly and commercially viable sustainable aviation fuel, CleanJoule is now very well-positioned to significantly expand its adoption and shorten the timeframes to achieving a greener global aviation industry.”
Dr. Karanjikar, who previously held innovation-focused roles at Technology Holding LLC and Chevron, has spent more than a decade developing the CleanJoule SAF technology, along with Dr. Ashok Joshi, a globally recognized, high-technology entrepreneur. Validated by the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Energy, CleanJoule’s proprietary production process converts biomass into a superior SAF molecule along with a bio-derived rubber co-product, yielding the only carbon negative, zero-petroleum, full performance and 100 percent drop-in SAF that can be used in a variety of commercial aviation engines without modification.
Cleanhill co-founders and Managing Partners Ash Upadhyaya and Rakesh Wilson will join CleanJoule’s board of directors. Having previously served in leadership positions at KKR and Apollo, respectively, they bring decades of experience investing across the energy value chain.
“Cleanhill is laser-focused on partnering with companies such as CleanJoule that are solving large-scale decarbonization challenges with timely, commercially viable approaches,” said Upadhyaya and Wilson. “By rapidly scaling CleanJoule in collaboration with our industry partners, we’ll be advancing efforts of vital importance to the climate and global economy.”
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Cleanhill Partners.