Canberra Airport Group has committed to purchase USD 5 million ($7.78 million) of Vast ordinary shares at an approximate price of USD 10.20 ($15.87) per share through an investment vehicle and conditionally a further USD 5 million of Vast ordinary shares ahead of Vast’s U.S. public listing.
The agreement is subject to closing of the previously announced business combination between Vast and Nabors Energy Transition Corp (NETC).
Vast said Canberra Airport’s investment recognises the potential for Vast’s technology to be used to produce low-cost sustainable aviation fuels, a key challenge for the aviation industry as it aims to achieve decarbonisation targets.
Vast’s proprietary concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) v3.0 technology has received significant support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which recently announced approval for up to $65 million in grant funding to support the construction of Vast Solar 1, a 30 MW CSP plant with 288 MWh of thermal storage located in Port Augusta, South Australia.
VS1 will be co-located with Solar Methanol 1 (SM1), a world-first green methanol demonstration plant which has been selected to receive $19.48 million and $21.86 million (EUR 13.2 million) of grant funding from a collaboration between the Australian and German Governments, respectively.
Vast said USD 5 million of Canberra Airport’s commitment will serve as a backstop for subsequent capital raised by Vast from additional third-party debt or equity financing sources and is subject to a nominal commitment fee.
The investment is another in Canberra Airport’s long-standing and deep commitment to implementing sustainability measures throughout its business, including solar generation, rainwater harvesting, carbon sequestration, alternative agriculture, and wind farming.
Stephen Byron, Managing Director of Canberra Airport, said: “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. 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, said: “Canberra Airport’s commitment will help us accelerate the global implementation of our proprietary CSP v.3.0 technology for the decarbonisation of methanol and sustainable fuel production. 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,” he added.