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Vast Unveils LOI with Mabanaft for Equity Investment in World-First Solar Methanol Project at the Maritime Industries Australia Decarbonisation Summit

Today in Perth at the Maritime Industries Australia Decarbonisation summit, Vast Solar Pty Ltd (Vast) announced that it has executed a letter of intent (LOI) with German energy company Mabanaft GmbH & Co. KG (Mabanaft) for potential offtake and equity investment in Solar Methanol 1 (SM1), a world-first green methanol demonstration plant.

Vast is a concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) technology and project developer, creating energy systems that generate green, dispatchable utility-scale electricity and industrial process heat. SM1 will be partly-powered by dispatchable electricity and heat from VS1, Vast’s 30MW / 288 MWh CSP project co-located with SM1 in Port Augusta, South Australia.

Mabanaft is active in many markets in the import, distribution and marketing of petroleum products, natural gas liquids, chemicals and biofuels, and it is supporting its customers’ transition to cleaner fuels by providing alternative long-term solutions.

The LOI with Mabanaft comes after the Solar Methanol Consortium, comprising Vast and project partners such as Calix and Fichtner, was provisoinally selected to receive a conditional award of AUD$19.48m and EUR13.2m from a collaboration between the Australian and German Governments to develop SM1, which will produce up to 7,500 tonnes per annum of green methanol. 

After successful completion of the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED), a Final Investment Decision (FID) will be made, with equity funding expected by Vast to be matched by ARENA and PtJ for a total funding envelope of up to AUD$78 million.

Craig Wood, CEO of Vast, said:

“Partnering with Mabanaft is an important step forward for SM1 that will unlock significant development of the project. Together with the Solar Methanol Consortium, we are excited to partner with a company such as Mabanaft that offers its customers innovative energy solutions for their transportation, heating, industrial and agricultural needs.”

Calix Comment

Calix CEO and Managing Director, Phil Hodgson said:

“Calix welcomes Mabanaft as a partner to the Solar Methanol Consortium. Today’s announcement is testament to the significant demand for more sustainable transport fuels and is an important milestone in the consortium’s journey to use renewable energy, hydrogen and CO2 captured from industry to help decarbonise this hard-to-abate sector.” 

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