GlassPoint Solar will build a 1.5-GW solar steam facility in Saudi Arabia to power an alumina refinery of state-owned mining company Ma’aden, thus cutting the refinery’s carbon footprint by 50%.
The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding, GlassPoint said on Thursday.
The solar thermal plant, known as Ma’aden Solar 1, will be located in the town of Ras al Khair on the east coast of the kingdom. The facility will produce 14,000 tonnes of steam daily from solar energy which will be then used to refine bauxite ore into alumina. Alumina is used as feedstock for the production of aluminium.
Construction work on the project is planned to start in 2024 and the first steam is to be produced in 2026.
“As the third pillar of the Saudi economy, we aspire to be a role model in ESG in the Kingdom. This significant development will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and bring us closer to our mandate of carbon neutrality by 2050. As the world moves towards green aluminum, MA’ADEN intends to help lead the way in this transition,” said chief executive Robert Wilt.
The plant, the world’s largest of this kind, will cut Ma’aden’s emissions by more than 600,000 tonnes annually, reducing the mining company’s overall carbon footprint by 4%.