VRX Silica Limited (ASX: VRX) has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Xodus Group Pty Ltd to explore the future supply of renewable hydrogen to the company’s silica sand projects as well as to potential, nearby glass-manufacturing facilities to enable the production of net-zero glass.
Given the high quality and volume of silica sand at both Arrowsmith and Muchea and the close proximity to energy infrastructure at both locations, VRX is exploring – in consultation with the Western Australian Government and significant international industry players – the potential for the development of glass-manufacturing facilities to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity.
Glass manufacturing requires considerable energy inputs. The supply of renewable hydrogen to power such glass manufacturing facilities could potentially lead to the production of net-zero glass.
Xodus, a global energy consultancy, specialises in the integration of environmental science, engineering and management to provide holistic support and services in energy transition. An Xodus-led consortium is developing Project MercurHy for the industrial-scale production of hydrogen gas using renewable energy in the Mid West region of Western Australia.
The MOU with Xodus establishes a platform for strategic confidential communication and future co-operation between the parties. It contemplates the sharing of information with a view to a future offtake of between 9,000 tonnes to 11,000 tonnes of hydrogen per annum, which is adequate to supply a substantial glass-making facility.
“The Mid West is increasingly being recognised for its potential to become a substantial hub to supply renewable energy and the production of hydrogen for both local consumption and export,” VRX managing director Bruce Maluish said.
“Glass making requires huge amounts of energy and signifcant R&D is underway in Europe to incorporate renewable power and substitute natural gas with hydrogen in glass-making furnaces.
“Our Muchea Silica Sand Project is ideally situated to take advantage of the high-grade silica sand resource to supply a glass manufacturing facility that is powered by a hydrogen energy source for net-zero production of ultra-clear glass for solar panels.”
Xodus Group managing director Stephen Swindell added:
“This was a unique but not unfamiliar project for us from the get-go where, rather than waiting to be approached with a challenge, we proactively identified an opportunity using our vast network of industry experts.
“We are uniquely positioned to become trusted advisors and architect of this project as we have access to industry and government insight and a wide variety of energy specialists with different skillsets, both within and out of Xodus.
“As a global energy consultancy, we unite our unique and diverse people to share knowledge, innovate and inspire change within the energy industry. We provide support across the energy spectrum, from advisory services to supply chain advice. Including all of the engineering and environmental expertise needed in between. Our people strive to ensure global energy supply as we all work together to realise a net zero world.”