World’s Largest Solar Thermal Plant to Be Built in Saudi Arabia

By: | June 14th, 2022

Image courtesy: GlassPoint

MA’ADEN, a Saudi Arabian mining company, signed an agreement with US-based company ‘GlassPoint’ to build the world’s largest solar-powered steam plant. When complete, the new facility will help MA’ADEN reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 600,000 tons per year. This will result in a reduction of the carbon footprint of over 50% for MA’ADEN’s Alumina refinery and 4% for overall MA’ADEN.

Rod MacGregor, CEO and founder of GlassPoint said, “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,” 

The company will be using the generated steam to decarbonize the energy-intensive process of producing aluminum

MacGregor said, “When people hear solar, you naturally think solar panels making electricity,” 

“But in this particular case, when the end-user needs heat, it’s much more efficient to go straight from sunlight to heat.”

This 1,500-megawatt solar thermal plant ‘MA’ADEN Solar 1’ will be located in Ras al Khair, Saudi Arabia. The solar-generated steam will take place of half of the fossil-fired steam currently used by the refinery.

Robert Wilt, CEO of MA’ADEN, said, “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, MA’ADEN intends to help lead the way in this transition,” 

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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