Vast Unveils LOI with Mabanaft for Potential Equity Investment in World-First Solar Methanol Project

Source: 5/17/2023, Location: Not categorized

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 have the potential to generate green, dispatchable utility-scale electricity and industrial process heat. SM1 is expected to 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 Engineering, was provisionally 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 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 we believe 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.”

Oleksandr Siromakha, Head of Sustainable Fuels at Mabanaft, said:
“When produced from renewable energy sources, methanol becomes a promising fuel option that holds great potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It can play an important role for reducing CO2 emissions, especially in shipping, mining and other areas. We are looking forward to collaborating with such strong partners in this exciting project.”

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.”

Theophil Laukemann, Managing Director of Fichtner, said:
“Acting as Lead Engineering Integrator for the Solar Methanol Consortium, Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG together with Fichtner Australia Pty. Ltd is pleased to see Mabanaft entering the SM1 Project. Mabanaft is the ideal partner for the SM1 project, in particular taking into account the objectives of the German-Australian HyGATE initiative.”

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