Canberra Airport Group backs Vast Solar Pty Ltd (Vast), a leading name in concentrated solar thermal power (CSP). The Canberra-based airport has committed to an equity investment worth up to USD $10 million in Vast’s ordinary shares. This marks a significant step toward a more sustainable future in aviation and energy.
The Deal in Detail
Announced on September 21, 2023, the agreement involves Canberra Airport Group committing to purchase USD $5 million of Vast’s ordinary shares. Additionally, the airport group may invest a conditional further USD $5 million ahead of Vast’s US public listing. The shares are priced at approximately USD 10.20 each. The agreement is subject to closing the declared business combination between Vast and Nabors Energy Transition Corp. (NETC).
This investment showcases Canberra Airport’s confidence in Vast’s ground-breaking technology aimed at producing low-cost, sustainable aviation fuels. It is a strategic move that aligns with the aviation industry’s mission to meet decarbonization targets.
Vast’s CSP v3.0 Technology
The energy company’s proprietary CSP v3.0 technology has gained considerable traction. This was aided by the approval of up to AUD $65 million in grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The funding supports the construction of Vast Solar 1 (VS1), a 30MW CSP plant. It will feature 288 MWh of thermal storage in Port Augusta, South Australia.
This innovation will work in synergy with Solar Methanol 1 (SM1), a pioneering green methanol plant, marking a milestone in renewable energy capabilities.
Canberra Airport’s Sustainability Measures
The Canberra Airport Group is no stranger to the importance of sustainability. The Group has invested in solar generation, rainwater harvesting, carbon sequestration, alternative agriculture, and wind farming. The equity commitment in Vast is part of Canberra Airport’s dedication to integrating sustainability measures throughout its business.
A Partnership for the Future
“We are confident in Vast and know that its unique technology will be important to power the grid and green fuels projects, including Sustainable Aviation Fuel and methanol for shipping,” said Stephen Byron, Managing Director of Canberra Airport. “We have been conducting due diligence of Vast for some time and are delighted to be investing in the growth of the business.”
Craig Wood, CEO of Vast, shared the enthusiasm. “Canberra Airport’s extensive experience and long history in the aviation industry will be tremendously valuable as we start to produce sustainable aviation fuels in the coming years. This is a significant step towards the completion of the business combination and will help us bring our Australia-made technology to the world.”