Australia’s clean energy industry received a boost after Vast Solar, a leader in concentrated solar thermal power (CSP), announced today it would go public through a business combination with Nabors Energy Transition Corp. (NETC).
While remaining headquartered in Australia, the now 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, baseload 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 anytime, 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 and domestic capital to help speed up the development of this exciting industry.
For Australia, the announcement has the potential to bring inward investment, create jobs, and reduce emissions. It could also catalyze 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 recognizes the strength of, and interest in, Australia’s renewables industry.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) continues to support Vast, its pipeline of Australian projects, including VS1 and SM1. The business combination will help 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 Port Augusta, South Australia. This project will create up to 450 jobs in the construction phase. Additionally, the Port Augusta demonstration plant will create up to 70 ongoing jobs in long-term manufacturing, plant operations and maintenance roles.
This month, Vast was selected to receive AUD$19.48m and EUR13.2m funding from HyGATE, a collaboration between the Australian and German governments, for Solar Methanol 1 (SM1), a Vast-led Consortium that will help to decarbonize 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. As a result, Vast expects its technology to play as important a role in the energy transition while ensuring Australia shares in the benefits of its cleantech 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.