Vast – an Australian clean tech success story

15 de febrero de 2023

Australia’s clean energy industry received a boost after Vast, a leader in concentrated solar thermal power (CSP), announced today it will go public through a business combination with Nabors Energy Transition Corp. (NETC).

While remaining headquartered in Australia, the combined entity will be named Vast and is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “VSTE”.

NETC is an affiliate of Nabors Industries Ltd (“Nabors”) (NYSE: NBR), a leading provider of advanced technology for the energy industry, located in 15+ countries globally, providing oil and gas drilling contracting services valued at over $3.5 billion in enterprise value. This transaction underscores Nabors’ commitment to the energy transition, extending its existing work on internal technology development and venture investments in clean, base load and scalable energy technologies, and it offers the opportunity to leverage Nabors’ global supply chain and operational footprint, advanced engineering and manufacturing capabilities, as well as its significant expertise in robotics and automation.

Vast’s CSP technology collects and stores the sun’s energy during the day for delivery at any time, making around-the-clock, reliable, clean power a reality. Vast’s proprietary next-generation CSP system provides clean, dispatchable renewable energy for utility-scale power, industrial heat and clean fuel production applications.

The proposed business combination will accelerate the global deployment of Vast’s internationally-awarded, Australian-made CSP technology. Vast has deliberately sought access to overseas capital as well as domestically to help speed up development of this exciting industry.

For Australia, the announcement has potential to bring inward investment, create jobs, and reduce emissions. It could also be a catalyst for a world-leading CSP industry, and help Australia become a clean energy export superpower.

The support of the Australian government has been critical to getting Vast to this point and the transaction recognises the strength of, and interest in, Australia’s renewables industry.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) continues to support Vast and its pipeline of Australian projects, including VS1 and SM1, and the business combination will help to bring international capital to these projects and support Vast’s growth.

ARENA has supported Vast’s technology since 2012, including through the provision of $9.9 million in funding towards the 1.1 MW CSP Pilot Plant in Jemalong, New South Wales.

Announced this week, ARENA has approved $65 million in funding to Vast to construct VS1, a first-of-a-kind 30 MW / 288 MWh concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in PortAugusta, South Australia. This project will create up to 450 jobs in the construction phase. Additionally, the Port Augusta demonstration plant will enable the creation of up to 70 on-going jobs in long-term manufacturing, plant operations and maintenance roles.

Vast also this month was selected to receive AUD$19.48m and EUR13.2m funding fromHyGATE, a collaboration between the Australian and German governments, forSolar Methanol 1 (SM1), a Vast-led Consortium that will help to decarbonise hard-to-abate industries, including shipping and aviation.

As well as the Australian government, Vast has collaborated with Australian research institutions and universities to develop and refine its world-leading technology. Vast expects its technology to play as important a role in the energy transition, while ensuring Australia shares in the benefits of its clean tech innovation.

Vast is currently working with state and federal governments to identify the site of its first full-scale manufacturing facility, which will produce Vast Australian designed and made CSP technology.