Vast and Mabanaft ink joint development deal for SM1

Aerial shot of Vast Solar's innovative modular tower solar array (mabanaft)
Vast Solar's innovative modular tower solar array

Vast has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Mabanaft to advance Solar Methanol 1 (SM1), a CSP-powered green methanol reference plant in South Australia.

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Located at the Port Augusta Green Energy Hub, SM1 will have the capacity to produce 7,500 tonnes of green methanol each year. Methanol is one of the most versatile hydrogen derivatives which, if produced using clean energy, has the potential to decarbonise several hard-to-abate industries, including shipping and aviation.

SM1 will be supplied with baseload renewable heat from Vast’s 30MW/288MWh CSP plant. Using CSP can potentially reduce green fuel production costs by up to 40%, and the project’s success could unlock green fuels production in Australia, with potential for exports to Germany and other global markets.

The JDA sets out how the project will be developed and further underlines Vast and Mabanaft’s contribution to the energy transition by combining technological, business development and commercial expertise. This comes after Vast and Mabanaft announced in February that they have signed funding agreements for SM1 for up to $40 million.

Vast will receive $19.48 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Mabanaft will, subject to final investment decision, receive up to €12.4 million from Projektträger Jülich (PtJ) on behalf of the German government, as part of HyGATE, a collaboration between the Australian and German governments to support real-world projects along the hydrogen supply chain.

The JDA includes a framework agreement securing offtake rights for Mabanaft for future green fuels projects powered by Vast technology, allowing Mabanaft to supply its shipping customers seeking to decarbonise their operations.

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Vast and Mabanaft are developing SM1 with the Solar Methanol Consortium and are supported by fellow Australian technology company Calix as principal CO2 supply partner and the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI).

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