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Maaden, GlassPoint to build a solar thermal power plant


Saudi Arabian Mining Company, Ma’aden and GlassPoint, a dealer in decarbonising industrial process heat have plans to build a Technology Showcase for its solar steam technology during the ongoing Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh.


The Technology Showcase marks the first stage of project development for the world’s largest industrial solar thermal project and will have capacity to supply nine tons of steam per hour to begin decarbonising Ma’aden’s aluminum supply chain.


“The technology showcase will combine direct generation of heat and storage to provide a continuous base load of steam to the Saudi group’s alumina refinery at Ras Al Khair,”said the firm.


Initial capacity will be about 1% of the larger project, which is slated to save more than 12M MMBTUs of energy annually and reduce carbon emissions by 600,000 tons per year.

CEO Robert Wilt said, “Ma’aden is taking action today to help the kingdom achieve its net zero target by 2060. Our Technology Showcase with GlassPoint represents an important step toward large-scale decarbonization that will firmly position Ma’aden as a sustainable industrial leader and support the continued advancement of important climate goals.”


The Technology Showcase will include several new advancements from GlassPoint that reduce the cost of its solutions by more than 30%. “Enhancements include GlassPoint’s Unify storage system, which uses direct heat and ternary molten salts to provide around-the-clock steam for industry, as well lighter materials which boost solar efficiency and notably reduce weight, materials, carbon intensity, shading and the levelized cost of energy,” said the firm.


GlassPoint Founder and CEO Rod MacGregor said, “Governments have agreed that we must act now to scale renewables and transition away from fossil fuels to stop climate change. Our Technology Showcase is an important first step to kick off project development and begin building on location. The KSA to stand out as a leader in decarbonisation which is not only setting ambitious climate goals but also developing the projects to fulfill them.”


This Technology Showcase has come after the  GlassPoint’s October announcement that it will partner with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia to build a solar manufacturing facility in the Eastern Province that will serve as an export hub for clean energy projects throughout the region.

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