Vast and Mabanaft advance Port Augusta green methanol project


Monday, 17 June, 2024

Vast and Mabanaft advance Port Augusta green methanol project

Renewable energy company Vast Renewables Limited (Vast) has announced it has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with global energy company Mabanaft to advance Solar Methanol 1 (SM1), a CSP-powered green methanol reference plant.

Located in South Australia at the Port Augusta Green Energy Hub, SM1 will have the capacity to produce 7500 tonnes of green methanol each year. The company said 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 30 MW/288 MWh CSP plant. Using CSP can potentially reduce green fuel production costs by up to 40% according to a recent report by engineering group Fichtner. The company believes 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 AU$40 million.

Vast will receive AU$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.

Mabanaft is actively supporting its customers’ decarbonisation by expanding its range of sustainable energy solutions. 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.

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).

“The JDA is a significant milestone for SM1, which has the potential to demonstrate how Vast technology can unlock low-cost green fuel production to contribute to decarbonising the global shipping and aviation industries,” said Craig Wood, CEO of Vast. “Vast is excited to continue our partnership with Mabanaft, and the execution of this agreement is a testament to our joint commitment to pioneer green fuel production globally.”

“As a leading energy solution provider, we are committed to enabling our customers’ energy transition,” said Philipp Kroepels, Director New Energy at Mabanaft. “We believe that methanol in particular can play an important role in the shipping industry, and Mabanaft is well positioned to build supply chains to meet that growing demand.”

Image credit: Vast Renewables Limited.

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