February 5th, 2024


Vast and the Solar Methanol Consortium has received joint German-Australian funding under the HyGATE initiative to progress proposed (renewables-based) hydrogen and solar methanol production facilities in the Port Augusta region of South Australia.

Main proponents:


Main end-use classification:

Industrial process – methanol production


Under development – project approaching FEED stage

Estimated cost:


Other involvement:

Calix, principal supplier of CO2

Production details:

10 MW PEM electrolyser, with estimated 7,500 tonnes per annum of green solar methanol production


South Australia, Australia

Announced funding:

German-Australian HyGATE Initiative: ARENA-administered Australian funding of AUD$19.48 million and German funding of €13.2 million conditionally awarded to the Solar Methanol Consortium.

Project description

Vast has received a conditional Australian funding award of AUD$19.48 million to progress development of the Solar Methanol 1 (SM1) project. The SM1 project will be co-located with the 30 MW Vast Solar 1 (VS1) (concentrated solar thermal commercial reference) project in Port Augusta, South Australia.

The SM1 Project would include a 10 MW PEM electrolyser for hydrogen production. A co-located lime plant would supply produced/captured CO2 (which is an unavoidable process emission in lime production). The produced hydrogen in combination with up to 15,000 tonnes per annum of CO2 captured/supplied using Calix’s calcination technology would be used to synthesise up to 7,500 tonnes per annum of solar methanol.

Heat for the operations would be supplied by the VS1. Power for the electrolyser would be a combination of supply from the VS1 project and grid-based supply.

The German engineering consultancy group, Fichtner, as lead applicant for the German funding under the HyGATE initiative, received a conditional award of €13.2 million and would undertake the engineering integration studies for the project.

The development concept studies stage has been completed and (as at early February 2023) the project is awaiting approval to proceed into the Front-end Engineering Design (FEED) studies stage.

Potential offtakers for the produced e-methanol include marine applications and other local industrial demand.

In the longer run and at larger scale, the project would act as a catalyst for solar methanol export to Germany and other global markets.

This description has been reviewed by the project proponent.


Reviewed: February 2024