Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden), Saudi Arabia’s national mining champion and one of the fastest-growing mining companies in the world, and GlassPoint, the leader in industrial solar steam, announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to develop the world’s largest solar process heat plant at Maaden’s Alumina refinery.
When complete, the 1,500 MW solar steam facility will help Maaden achieve sustainability goals by reducing carbon emissions by over 600,000 tons annually. This represents more than 50% reduction of carbon footprint in Maaden’s Alumina refinery and 4% of Maaden’s overall carbon footprint.
The MoU was signed at Maaden HQ in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by Riyadh Al Nassar, senior vice president of Maaden’s aluminum business and Rod MacGregor, CEO and founder of GlassPoint, witnessed by Robert Wilt, CEO of Maaden and Jacob Drejer, CCO of GlassPoint.
Robert Wilt, CEO of Maaden stated: “As the third pillar of the Saudi economy, we aspire to be a role model in ESG in the Kingdom. This significant development will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and bring us closer to our mandate of carbon neutrality by 2050. As the world moves towards green aluminum, Maaden intends to help lead the way in this transition.”
Riyadh Al Nassar, SVP Aluminium SBU of Maaden stated: “The proposed new facility, a solar thermal plant known as Maaden Solar 1, will be located in Ras al Khair, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and will harness the power of the sun to produce steam. The steam will be used to refine bauxite ore into alumina. Alumina is a critical feedstock to Aluminium, which is one of the world’s most crucial metals for many global industries going into a future that is focused on environment and sustainability.”
“Maaden is leading the way to reduce industrial carbon emissions at scale by replacing fossil fuels with solar power to create heat. This facility when built will be the largest industrial solar steam plant in the world and the first deployed in both Saudi Arabia and in the aluminum supply chain,” said Rod MacGregor, CEO and founder of GlassPoint. “With this MOU, GlassPoint is entering a new phase of growth to help decarbonize a range of industries seeking to lower their carbon footprint.”
Under this arrangement, Maaden and GlassPoint will work together developing a more sustainable way to produce aluminum, which is a crucial metal for many global industries and the energy transition. This MoU also represents GlassPoint’s reemergence as a leader in solar process heat.
As a global energy producer, Saudi Arabia is committed to advancing the fight against climate change. The Kingdom has unveiled the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) to help the country become an international leader in sustainability. Last year, the SGI unveiled a first wave of more than 60 initiatives, amounting to a SAR 700 billion ($186bn) investment to accelerate the green economy across Saudi Arabia and beyond.