Australian solar firm Vast merges with Nabors SPAC


Australian renewable energy firm Vast Solar has agreed to merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by Nabors Industries (NBR.N) in a transaction valued at $586 million.

The merger with SPAC Nabors Energy Transition Corp (NETC.N) will bring the combined company to the New York Stock Exchange.

The Sydney-based company has been developing patented concentrated solar power technology (CSP). Unlike conventional photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, which convert light into electricity, CSP uses mirrors to direct sunlight onto a receiver, which collects the sun's energy as heat in sodium.

CSP holds energy for longer periods of time than PV solar because heat can be stored more effectively, helping to solve the latter's intermittent nature when the sun goes down.

The merger with NETC will generate up to $351 million in total revenues. Vast's commercial objectives include the construction of a utility-scale CSP plant, known as VS1, in Port Augusta, South Australia, with an expected operational date of 2025.

Vast also intends to integrate its power generation technology with a green methanol production facility on the same site.

The business expects its CSP technology to gain a large customer base in hot, arid locations such as the U.S. Southwest, the Middle East and North Africa, and Australia.

Nabors is a major operator in the oilfield services business worldwide. The Houston-based corporation, like others that built their reputations digging oil and gas wells, is heading to a future in which fossil fuels play a reduced role in the economy.

Guillermo Sierra, Nabors' head of energy transition strategy, said that the merger of SPAC and Vast will complement some of the company's existing investments in clean energy and give it a strong presence in a vital future technology.

"This is not a science experiment, but a responsible entry point that will allow us to capture a lot of upside," Sierra added.










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