BHE Renewables and MidAmerican Energy Renew Contract with Uptake Technologies

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BHE Renewables and MidAmerican Energy, two subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, have renewed their contract with Uptake Technologies. Uptake has previously worked with both companies to deliver AI-enabled SaaS products to optimize maintenance operations and increase energy production across their wind fleets.

The new contract builds on the previous engagement, expanding use of Uptake’s product from the current 4,914 megawatts across 23 sites to an additional 13 sites and 2,283 megawatts.

“Three years ago, our companies recognized the potential of Uptake’s AI capabilities at a time when Uptake’s products were promising, though still emerging,” said Tom Budler, president, wind, at BHE Renewables. “We have been pleased with the results and look forward to expanding the application to additional sites and collaborating with Uptake to develop and implement application enhancements over the next three years.”

Uptake’s power performance AI application enables engineering and operations teams to quickly identify power production issues and their root causes, correcting for confounding variables; leverage supporting evidence to decide on and take action or improve service provider management; and prioritize machine learning recommendations based on potential energy production gains. Uptake has proven to increase annual energy production up to 2% at typical wind customers’ sites, including those under warranty maintenance.

The original engagement between Uptake and MidAmerican and BHE Renewables began in 2017 with the goal of increasing the energy production of the companies’ wind turbines through predictive data analytics.

Since then, Uptake has been deployed across 16 MidAmerican and seven BHE Renewables sites. Between January 2019 and September 2020 alone, Uptake has delivered a total of 981 validated power performance alerts for MidAmerican and BHE Renewables.

“It’s incredibly validating that one of our largest and longest-standing customers is doubling down on Uptake,” shared Brad Keywell, Founder and CEO of Uptake. “These companies represented our first customer in the energy industry — they believed in our software and our ability to uncover operational recommendations from the available data coming off their wind turbines. I’m proud that our products have delivered helpful and impactful insights that have enabled legitimate value to Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s business.”

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Ocala, Florida Purchases BYD Battery-Electric Refuse Trucks

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Berkshire Hathaway-backed Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD has announced that the City of Ocala, Florida will add five Class 8 battery-electric refuse trucks to its fleet, making it one of the first cities in Florida to adopt BYD’s innovative zero-emission technology.

The trucks will be assembled in the United States with union labor.

BYD, the leader in commercial electric truck deployments in the United States, is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and the global leader in battery-electric trucks with more than 12,000 electric trucks in service around the world.

The Ocala City Council pre-approved the 2021 purchase of three quiet, clean-electric BYD refuse trucks and will buy two more in 2022. The BYD vehicles will replace older- model internal combustion powered trucks that are currently in use.

“The community of Ocala has taken a leadership role in Florida with the purchase of these BYD electric trucks,” said John Gerra, Sr. Director of Business Development with BYD Motors. “All BYD trucks are purpose-built and utilize our proprietary safe battery technology that exceeds the requirements for some of the most rigorous safety-testing programs around the world.”

Ocala officials estimate the operation of BYD trucks will result in fuel cost savings of nearly 78 percent. In addition, with fewer moving parts making them less costly to maintain, the city estimates there will be a cost savings of nearly 75 percent in maintenance costs. The BYD trucks are estimated to provide a total life cycle savings to Ocala of approximately $270,000 and a return on the taxpayers’ investment in under 5 years.

BYD’s Lancaster, California manufacturing facility employs 750 men and women, many are members of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Union, (SMART), Local 105.

A Profitable EV Company

BYD recently reported a net profit of 1.66 billion yuan (roughly 242 million U.S. dollars) for the first half of 2020. The net profit rose 14.29 percent over the same period in 2019.

Through June 30, BYD had revenue of 60.5 billion yuan, down 2.7 percent year on year, according to BYD’s financial report filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Despite the global pandemic, BYD projects 2.8 billion yuan to 3 billion yuan of net profit in the first three quarters of this year, which would be an increase of 77.86 percent to 90.56 percent from the same period of 2019.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value sixteen-fold.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway-Backed BYD Delivers eBuses to Columbia, Missouri

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Berkshire Hathaway-backed Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD delivered four American-made battery-electric K7M buses to the City of Columbia, Missouri’s transit agency Go COMO.

BYD’s nimble, state-of-the art zero-emission 30-foot K7M battery electric buses, manufactured in the United States, are perfect for helping maintain Columbia’s college town feel, shuttling students and workers to their destinations in quiet comfort.

“We are thrilled to partner with Go COMO,” said Patrick Duan, BYD North America Vice President. “Our American-built buses are well-made, reliable and bring innovative technology to Main Street in communities around the nation like Columbia.”

With the launch of these award-winning BYD buses, Columbia becomes the first city in Missouri to put zero-emission transit vehicles into revenue service.

“We are excited to already have our four new buses in circulation at Columbia. We are dedicated in continuing to provide sustainable transportation options to residents and visitors of Columbia,” said Dale Lynn, City of Columbia, Missouri transportation superintendent.

Working at BYD’s factory in Lancaster, Calif., members of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – SMART Union, Local 105 – constructed the innovative and technologically superior K7M for the City of Columbia to include 22 seats, and a range of up to 150 miles. The bus has a charging time of 2.5 to 3 hours.

In August, BYD delivered three K7Ms to another Missouri customer, the Kansas City International Airport, bringing the airport’s total fleet of BYD’s American-made electric buses to seven. KCI was the first airport in the nation to deploy electric buses, using the K7Ms as parking lot shuttles, bringing passengers to the airport’s terminals.

A Profitable EV Company

BYD recently reported a net profit of 1.66 billion yuan (roughly 242 million U.S. dollars) for the first half of 2020. The net profit rose 14.29 percent over the same period in 2019.

Through June 30, BYD had revenue of 60.5 billion yuan, down 2.7 percent year on year, according to BYD’s financial report filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Despite the global pandemic, BYD projects 2.8 billion yuan to 3 billion yuan of net profit in the first three quarters of this year, which would be an increase of 77.86 percent to 90.56 percent from the same period of 2019.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value sixteen-fold.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Commentary: Precision Castparts to Face Long Term Negative Impacts From Airplane Manufacturers’ Woes

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Precision Castparts will have reduced demand over the next decade for its aerospace parts that it supplies to the commercial airline industry, according to a new report issued by Boeing.

Precision Castparts manufactures parts for both Boeing and its rival Airbus, and in February the company laid off 150 Oregon workers as the production Boeing’s 737 MAX was halted. Boeing’s market projections show that its troubles are broader than just the issues it has faced with the 737 Max.

The 2020 Boeing Market Outlook projects that the commercial aviation and services markets will continue to face significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while global defense and government services markets remain more stable.

Airlines globally have begun to recover from a greater than 90% decline in passenger traffic and revenue early this year, but a full recovery will take years, according to the Boeing outlook.

As it relates to Precision Castparts’ revenues, the 2020 Boeing Market Outlook includes projects an overall demand for 18,350 commercial airplanes in the next decade – 11% lower than Boeing’s 2019 forecast.

On the positive side, in the longer term, with key industry drivers expected to remain stable, the commercial fleet is forecasted to return to its growth trend, generating demand for more than 43,000 new airplanes in the 20-year forecast time period.

The BMO also projects a $2.6 trillion market opportunity for defense and space during the next decade. This spending projection reflects the ongoing importance of military aircraft, autonomous systems, satellites, spacecraft and other products to national and international defense. This demand continues to be global in nature with 40 percent of expenditures expected to originate outside of the United States.

In addition to the 2020 Boeing Market Outlook, Boeing also released its 2020 Commercial Market Outlook. Its Commercial Market Outlook is the longest-running jet forecast and is regarded as the most comprehensive analysis of the commercial aviation industry. The Commercial Market Outlook forecast projects:

• Over the next 20 years, passenger traffic growth is projected to increase by an average of 4% per year.

• The global commercial fleet is expected to reach 48,400 by 2039, up from 25,900 airplanes today. During this period, Asia will continue to expand its share of the world’s fleet, accounting for nearly 40% of the fleet compared to about 30% today.

• Single-aisle airplanes such as the 737 MAX will continue to be the largest market segment, with operators projected to need 32,270 new airplanes in the next 20 years. Single-aisle demand will recover sooner due to its key role in short-haul routes and domestic markets as well as passenger preference for point-to-point service.

• In the widebody market, Boeing forecasts demand for 7,480 new passenger airplanes by 2039. Widebody demand will be affected by a slower recovery in long-haul markets – typical after air-travel shocks – as well as uncertainties from COVID-19’s impact on international travel.

• Air cargo demand, a relative bright spot in 2020, is expected to grow 4% annually and generate further demand for 930 new widebody production freighters and 1,500 converted freighters over the forecast period.

In summary, the 43,110 projected airplane types projected by Boeing are:

Regional jets 90 and below 2,430
Single-aisle 90 and above 32,270
Widebody 7,480
Freighter widebody 930

Lastly, as it impacts Precision Castparts, the 11% projected decline in demand for commercial airplanes in the next decade does not take into account competition from China’s budding commercial aviation industry. While only in its infancy at this time, it is not clear what threat it will pose to established manufacturers Boeing and Airbus, and whether Chinese commercial planes will use parts manufactured by Precision Castparts, or instead use parts from domestic suppliers.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

BYD Gets Large eBus Order From Finland

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Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD Co., Ltd. has secured Finland’s largest eBus order – 106 vehicles for Nobina, one of Scandinavia’s largest public transport operators.

Nobina will also be the first transit operator in the world to order BYD’s new 50-foot, three-axle low-floor eBus model. An impressive 42 of the new vehicles will go into service in the southwestern city of Turku in Summer 2021.

BYD’s new 50-foot eBus model offers 47+3 seating capacity. Of course, like all BYD heavy duty vehicles, BYD’s latest model features the safest batteries in use anywhere in the world.

A Profitable EV Company

BYD recently reported a net profit of 1.66 billion yuan (roughly 242 million U.S. dollars) for the first half of 2020. The net profit rose 14.29 percent over the same period in 2019.

Through June 30, BYD had revenue of 60.5 billion yuan, down 2.7 percent year on year, according to BYD’s financial report filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Despite the global pandemic, BYD projects 2.8 billion yuan to 3 billion yuan of net profit in the first three quarters of this year, which would be an increase of 77.86 percent to 90.56 percent from the same period of 2019.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value sixteen-fold.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Special Report: Shares Of Berkshire Hathaway-Backed BYD Soar On News Of Luxury Car Orders

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Shares of Berkshire Hathaway-backed Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD Co., Ltd. jumped 14.58% on Wednesday, as the company racked up 40,000 orders in the first two months in China for its new plug-in electric Han luxury car.

BYD’s stock (BYDDF), which had been as low as $4.35 on March 23, closed at $16.22 on Wednesday.

The Han EV will be sold in China at first. Its extended-range version will sell at 229,800 RMB (approximately $32,800), the extended-range variant of the premium model will be priced at 255,800 RMB (about $36,500), and the 4WD high-performance version will sell at 279,500 (about $40,000) RMB. Besides, the PHEV version, Han DM, will sell at 219,800 yuan (about $31,400).

The Han is the first mass-produced model that uses BYD’s ultra-safe Blade Battery, and its performance stats are impressive.

Han EV’s long-range pure electric version has a single-charge range of 605 kilometers (376 miles) based on the NEDC test cycle.

The four-wheel-drive high-performance version possesses an acceleration of 0 to 100km/h (approximately 62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds, making it China’s fastest EV in production, and the DM (Dual Mode) plug-in hybrid model offers 0 to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds, making it the country’s fastest hybrid sedan.

The Han series comes with the world-first MOSFET motor control module, which fuels the car’s record-breaking 3.9 second 0-100km/h acceleration, and the Han’s braking distance requires only 32.8 meters from 100km/h to a standstill.

The Han EV’s extended-range version’s 605-kilometer cruising range also gives it the world’s highest energy recovery rating. The Han DM hybrid model comes with 81 kilometers of pure-electric cruising range and over 800 kilometers of integrated range, along with five different power modes.

The company claims that its ultra-safe Blade Battery makes it twice as safe compared to EVs using traditional ternary lithium battery packs. The Han’s DM is powered by a “seven-dimensional quad-layer” safety matrix that remain stable at high temperatures.

Mr. Wang Chuanfu, President of BYD Co., Ltd., said, “The Han has taken ten years from the concept stage to formal mass production,” which he likened to “ten years of sharpening a brilliant sword”. He added, “Through our leading technologies, we have created three benchmarks for flagship EVs in terms of safety, performance, and luxury.”

The Han comes with the latest version of BYD’s DiPilot intelligent driving assistance system, including a wide array of safety features like an adaptive stop-and-go cruise-control system (ACC-S&G), a forward-collision warning system (FCW), a pedestrian identification and protection system, a lane departure warning system (LDWS), traffic sign identification, and much more. The Han can be upgraded with even higher-level functions including BYD’s ICC Intelligent Navigation System, the ICA Integrated Adaptive Cruise System, and the TJA Traffic Congestion Assistance System. In addition, the extended-range premium and 4WD high-performance models provide blind spot monitoring, lane-change assistance, rear collision early warning and other leading functions, which can be upgraded to a comprehensive automatic parking function.

DiPilot also comes with the DiTrainer mode, which selectively turns on assisted driving based on factors such as driving behavior, road conditions, weather, and even driving age. The DiLink 3.0 Smart Network system comes with smart voice upgrades and a DiUI upgrade, with a 15.6-inch Ultra HD 8-core adaptive rotary suspension PAD, bringing the even smarter luxury sedan.

As for styling, BYD’s new Dragon Face design language uses both Eastern and Western design aesthetics. From its striking front grille, its Dragon Claw tail lights and other features, the car’s stylized design creates a striking, confident vehicle that defines a new era for Chinese-made luxury vehicles. The interior is equipped with solid wooden panels, high-quality Napa leather seats, aluminum trims and other high-end materials rarely used in other high-end luxury vehicles.

A Profitable EV Company

BYD recently reported a net profit of 1.66 billion yuan (roughly 242 million U.S. dollars) for the first half of 2020. The net profit rose 14.29 percent over the same period in 2019.

Through June 30, BYD had revenue of 60.5 billion yuan, down 2.7 percent year on year, according to BYD’s financial report filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Despite the global pandemic, BYD projects 2.8 billion yuan to 3 billion yuan of net profit in the first three quarters of this year, which would be an increase of 77.86 percent to 90.56 percent from the same period of 2019.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value sixteen-fold.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Québec Officially Opens Head Office in Montréal

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Québec, which was introduced in May of this year, has opened its new head office in the Midtown district of Montréal.

The fully renovated 1,900-square-foot space situated at 5329 Ferrier Street is equipped with executive offices, closing rooms, a kitchen and a large boardroom with video conferencing. Furnished by reputed Montréal home decor specialists Ambienti Design and District A, this location will house the management team, as well as the current roster of 16 brokers with room to grow.

“We wanted a space where people feel at home in an up-and-coming area that is easily accessible with plenty of parking,” said Sacha Brosseau, the company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer. “During these challenging times, we have made sure to fully service our brokers from a distance. Now, our growing family has a place they can call home.”

Chris Stuart, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, said, “We want to join Sacha Brosseau in extending a warm welcome to the new headquarters of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Québec. Since Sacha joined our network earlier this year, we have eagerly anticipated his moves to establish the brand in Québec.”

Since its start of operations in June, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Québec has made a strong impression in the market with numerous sales in some of the most prominent areas in and outside of the city. With room to grow, Brosseau wishes to “take his time and select the right brokers, which will add to the culture of family.”

“My partners and I have been friends for many years, and have always counted on one another in good and bad times. This is the culture that we want for our organization. It’s not about what you bring in financially, it’s about what you can add to make the team better,” added Brosseau, who looks to expand in other areas of the province. “I don’t see us ever being over 100 brokers in the whole province. Our goal is to get the right real estate professionals in the right areas, which will offer the best service to their clients, just like the exceptional team of brokers we currently have.”

Gino Blefari, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, said, “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Québec is an excellent example of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices mission that is dedicated to continually improving the lives of our clients especially in such an unprecedented chapter in the history of the world. Their personalized response to the Covid-19 threat further embodies that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a name that buyers and sellers can trust.”

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire’s Intero Continues Expansion in California and Nevada

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Intero, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., has acquired two Intero franchise locations in Gardnerville, NV and Markleeville, CA. The two locations currently house 26 agents and come with nearly 285 active listings.

Business partners and former franchise owners, Teddy Carlson-McKone and Dennis McDuffee, will transition to the roles of Vice President and Managing Officer of both locations.

“We’re thrilled to continue our growth and reach throughout California and Nevada,” said Brian Crane, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Intero – a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. “The Carson Valley and Nevada represent a great opportunity for Intero. Teddy and Dennis and the company they have built represent the best of Intero and we’re proud to bring them on to the corporate team. We look forward to growing our presence in northern Nevada and the Greater Tahoe region with Teddy and Dennis leading the way.”

The attraction to these locations was based on the high-quality agents, their production level, and their stellar reputation within the region. The Gardnerville office has been voted by the public as the #1 Real Estate Office by the local newspaper, The Record Courier, in the annual “Best of Carson Valley” section. They have secured this honor for three years running. In addition, Dennis McDuffee was voted as the top commercial real estate agent for the annual awards.

“We couldn’t be happier with this next chapter in our Intero journey,” said Teddy Carlson-McKone, Vice President and Managing Officer of Intero Gardnerville and Markleeville. “We’ve been part of the Intero family for 10 wonderful years and now it gets even better with the support of the corporate team, HomeServices of America and Berkshire Hathaway.”

Intero, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America Inc., serves Northern California and Nevada with 22 offices throughout the greater Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Calaveras County, Western Nevada and the Greater Lake Tahoe Region. The Intero Franchise network is comprised of 55 affiliates located in Alabama, California, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas. The company is headquartered in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Signature Flight Support, Neste and NetJets in Strategic Partnership to Accelerate the Adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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A pioneering collaboration combines Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production and distribution, establishing a permanent supply for private aviation operators at San Francisco and London-Luton.

Cognizant of the important and active role that private aviation plays in environmental responsibility, Signature Flight Support announces the introduction of Signature Renew, a company-wide global sustainability initiative to innovate and invigorate the journey toward net-zero carbon emissions. Central to the program is accelerating the use of SAF for private aircraft, with Signature initially establishing permanent supplies of low emission fuel at two key gateways – San Francisco Int’l Airport (SFO) in the United States and London-Luton Airport (LTN) in the United Kingdom.

Neste, a leading producer of renewable products and the world’s third most sustainable company according to Corporate Knights’ 2020 ranking, has agreed in principle to supply Signature Renew with Neste MY SustainableAviation Fuel™. Encompassing an expected five million gallons, the volume of SAF that Signature has committed to purchase from Neste is the largest agreement by a Fixed Base Operator to date. Furthermore, NetJets, the worldwide leader in private aviation, has announced its role as a launch customer for Signature Renew supplied SAF in San Francisco.

Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel™, is a sustainable aviation fuel that in neat form and over the lifecycle reduces GHG emissions up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel. The fuel provides an immediate solution for reducing the direct carbon emissions of flying.

The creation of the Signature Renew program aligns with the needs of many aircraft operators that are accountable to their parent organization’s corporate sustainability goals. SAF gallons purchased via Signature SFO will take advantage of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) tax incentive program, while at London-Luton operators can reduce carbon offsetting needs for the EU ETS.

Prior to use, the SAF is blended with fossil jet fuel and is then verified to meet ASTM jet fuel specification. In its neat form and over the lifecycle, SAF can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel. Once blended at a 35% ratio, Signature anticipates more than a 25% reduction in direct net lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft using the SFO and LTN SAF blends.

“Signature is undertaking a momentous step that enables the wide-scale adoption of SAF,” explained Tony Lefebvre, Chief Operating Officer for Signature. “Prior to establishing a permanent supply of SAF, FBOs have only been able to provide a few thousand gallons at one time – typically by request of an individual aircraft operator or for a one-off event. Signature is committing to having SAF available for uplift in San Francisco in the next few weeks, culminating in the world’s first 100 percent sustainably supplied FBO Q1 2021.” He continued, “By having the first FBO in the world that is able to offer operators a reliable, full volume supply of SAF at a competitive price only a few dollars beyond traditional Jet A, we are providing the critical acceleration that industry trade groups and aviation regulators have cited as a necessary step on the path to widespread adoption.”

Neste has been at the vanguard of sustainable aviation fuel production for nearly a decade, and the company will have the capacity to produce some 1.5 million tonnes (515 million gallons) of SAF annually by 2023. Neste’s SAF is made from sustainably sourced, renewable waste and residue materials – such as used cooking oil for example. It is a drop in fuel that offers an immediate way to reduce the direct greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft, requiring no new investments, modifications, or changes to procedures.

“Together, we are taking a big step forward in providing passengers with a way to reduce their own environmental handprint,” says Chris Cooper, Vice President, Renewable Aviation North America, Neste. “People who travel by private aircraft know there’s an environmental impact and many of them want a more sustainable option. In fact, a good number of people relying on private aviation are either working for companies with established climate goals or individuals who have personally committed to fighting climate change. This partnership means that passengers can look forward to being able to board a private aircraft fueled by SAF and help fight – not contribute – to climate change in the near future.”

Additionally, NetJets is the launch customer of sustainable fuel supplied by the Signature Renew program at SFO with a commitment to purchase up to 3m gallons of SAF, representing a large portion of Signature’s total volume at the airport. The non-exclusive agreement will support the continued expansion and availability of SAF throughout the business and general aviation industry. All of NetJets aircraft visiting the San Francisco Int’l Airport will be supplied with Neste-produced low-carbon fuel, uplifted by Signature.

“NetJets is pleased to be Signature’s first major SAF client,” said Brad Ferrell, NetJets Executive Vice President, Administrative Services. “We are thrilled to be the first private aviation company with a commitment to purchase sustainable fuel for all NetJets flights out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Columbus International Airport (CMH). This first initiative helps to lay the groundwork for our sustainability program which aims to solidify our unwavering commitment to excellence.”

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Johns Manville Building Polyiso Production Plant in Texas

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Johns Manville has begun construction of a new production plant in Hillsboro, Texas.

The plant, which is projected to be completed by mid-2022, will manufacture polyiso products including ENRGY 3® roof insulation, ProtectoR® HD high density cover board, AP® Foil Faced Foam sheathing and GoBoard® tile backer.

These products are preferred in the market due to their high R-value per inch and the strength and durability they offer.

“We continue to invest in our business, customers and communities,” said Joe Smith, President of Roofing Systems at Johns Manville. “Increasing the availability of our products while creating new jobs is a win-win.”

When complete, the Hillsboro plant will employ more than 50 people and include a JM roofing distribution center.

The warehouse will stock many JM products, including TPO and accessories to expand customer service. Hughes Commercial Real Estate and Development will develop the site and FA Peinado Construction will be the general contractor.

The groundbreaking in Hillsboro comes on the heels of a recent expansion of JM’s Milan, Ohio, roofing products plant. That expansion increased the facility’s production capacity and added approximately 50 jobs.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.