The Gulf states, despite its enormous wealth of oil and gas, has moved ahead with green power technologies, making them a priority to achieve their net zero ambitions.

The GCC states have built or building some of the world's largest solar power plants.

Giving a new thrust to the region's solar ambitions is the new solar manufacturing plant announced for Saudi Arabia, by GlassPoint, a leader in decarbonising industrial process heat.

GlassPoint will build a solar manufacturing facility and technology showcase in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia in partnership with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA).

At full capacity, the factory will produce enough renewable energy solutions annually to generate 5,000 tons of solar steam each day, enough to offset four million MMBtus of gas and reduce carbon emissions by 200,000 tons each year, an announcement said.

Products manufactured in the facility will be used for projects in the metals & mining, building materials and additional industrial sectors.

Last year, GlassPoint signed an MoU with the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) to develop the world’s largest solar process steam plant. The manufacturing facility will also support technology exports throughout the region, while helping to further diversify the Kingdom’s economy and deepen its leadership as a technology export hub.

Under the partnership, MISA will provide support and advisory. GlassPoint will provide technology and operational expertise - from deploying the only solution proven at scale to decarbonise industrial heat.

Khalid Al-Falih, the Minister of Investment, stated: “Saudi Arabia is committed to leading the region in economic development as well as sustainability. Our partnership with GlassPoint demonstrates important progress in doing both, while also diversifying our economy, strengthening supply chains and deepening high-tech leadership.”

Asaad H Aljomoai, MD, Global Supply Chain Resilience Initiative, stated: “MISA’s partnership with GlassPoint will deepen the Kingdom’s leadership in climate technology across the region. The new factory will play an important role in building some of the largest solar thermal projects in the world and also will create a new export market to advance renewable energy projects beyond our borders.”

Rod MacGregor, CEO and founder of GlassPoint, stated: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has set a goal to generate 50% of its power from renewable sources by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2060. With support from MISA, GlassPoint’s new facilities will help deploy renewable energy across the Kingdom to help meet these targets. By helping decarbonise the industrial sector, we will improve the climate impact of hard-to-abate industries across the region and help meet rising demand for low-carbon materials.”

The partnership is part of MISA’s Global Supply Chain Resilience Initiative, which aims to attract strategic supply chains to Saudi Arabia and expand the Kingdom’s market share in sectors essential to combating climate change. The agreement also represents progress towards achieving Saudi Vision 2030 – a transformational plan that aims to diversify the country’s economy, society, and culture - as well as goals set out in the Saudi Green Initiative to create a greener future for all.

The news comes on the heels of GlassPoint’s recent funding round led by 300PPM to meet growing demand for proven solutions to decarbonise industrial process heat. The company recently added a slate of seasoned leadership to its board and opened a solar technology center in Stuttgart, Germany, to expand its innovation leadership.

GlassPoint is a leader in decarbonising the $444 billion industrial process heat market. By focusing on reducing emissions associated with the production of materials essential to the energy transition, GlassPoint is making a substantial impact on combating climate change. The company builds, owns and operates large-scale solar steam facilities to reduce carbon emissions in hard-to-abate industries such as mining and metals, chemicals, construction materials, desalination and more.

GlassPoint is the only solution proven at scale to reduce carbon emissions from industrial process heat and has built more than half of the industrial solar steam capacity in the world, the statement said.