Vast gets planning tick for Solar Methanol 1 project

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

Concentrated solar thermal power developer Vast has received planning consent for its Solar Methanol 1 (SM1) in South Australia, a CSP-powered reference plant that will produce green fuels.

Related article: Key engineering contracts announced for Vast’s VS1

Located in Port Augusta, SM1 will have the capacity to produce 7,500 tonnes per annum of green methanol, one of the most versatile hydrogen derivatives.

Vast is co-developing SM1 with global energy company Germany’s Mabanaft. The project will combine proven technologies to produce green methanol: a Leilac calcination plant from fellow Australian technology company Calix to capture carbon dioxide unavoidably produced in the making of cement and lime; an electrolysis plant to produce hydrogen; and a methanol plant.

The project will be powered by VS1, a co-located 30MW/288MWh CSP plant, which will utilise Vast’s CSP v3.0 technology to provide renewable heat and renewable electricity to produce green fuels.

The planning consent is an important step forward as the SM1 project moves towards final investment decision.

Vast CEO Craig Wood said, “Planning consent is an important milestone for this major project for Port Augusta and South Australia. SM1 will produce low-cost green fuels, which can play an important role in decarbonising the global maritime industry.

Related article: Mabanaft and Vast get funding for SA solar methanol plant

“The combination of technologies can be scaled rapidly, acting as a catalyst for a green fuels industry in Australia and around the world.”

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