Nuclear Power

18 Jan 2023

South Korean Investment in X-Energy

18 Jan 2023  by   

X-energy of the USA - developer of the Xe-100 high temperature gas-cooled small modular reactor (SMR) as well as TRISO advanced nuclear fuel - has announced a strategic investment of USD25 million from South Korea's DL E&C and Doosan Enerbility.

The Xe-100 reactor design (Image: X-energy)

The investment has been made in a private round of financing pursuant to the X-energy's previously announced Series C-2 investment round to support the advancement of the global deployment of its Xe-100 SMR.

Engineering, procurement and construction firm Doosan - which will continue to work with X-energy as a major component and system vendor - will engineer, supply and manufacture key components for the Xe-100 plant, including the reactor pressure vessel. Doosan and X-energy also plan to jointly pursue diverse applications of the Xe-100 technology, such as efficient provision of power and heat to industrial processes like hydrogen production.

Nuclear component designer and manufacturer DL E&C will work with X-energy to identify opportunities around the world to employ its practices to support the deployment of Xe-100 plants on a global scale.

X-energy said it is "continuing to negotiate the terms of a potential incremental investment from certain additional Korean investors".

"We are thrilled to partner with world-class nuclear companies like Doosan and DL E&C as we continue to work toward the deployment of our Xe-100 advanced small modular reactor," said X-energy CEO Clay Sell. "These companies' expertise and support has been and will continue to be invaluable as we continue to expand our business."

"Beyond our long-standing business focus on large-scale nuclear equipment supply, Doosan has established a solid foothold in SMR as a global foundry," noted Jongdoo Kim, Executive Vice President and Head of Doosan's Nuclear Business Group.

"Our investment in X-energy, coupled with our intention to help develop and deploy the world's leading nuclear technology, is in-line with our stated goal to focus on eco-friendly projects as our growth engines for the future," said Jaeho Yoo, Chief Executive for DL E&C's Plant Business Division. “To fulfill decarbonisation goals with alternative energy, X-energy has impressed us the most with their industry-leading multi-application reactor with several use cases for chemical process plants which has long been DL E&C's core competency."

In December, X-energy announced it had entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Ares. The combination will establish X-energy as a publicly traded company, a move that is expected to accelerate the small modular reactor developer's growth strategy. So far, X-energy has raised USD148 million in financing to support the proposed business combination. "To the extent raised, any additional proceeds would be additive to this amount," the company said.

The Xe-100 is a pebble bed high-temperature gas reactor capable of a thermal output of 200 MW or (80 MW electrical). It uses fuel made from robust TRISO (tri-structural isotropic) fuel particles which are able to withstand extremely high temperatures without melting. Optimised as a four-unit plant delivering 320 MWe, the reactor can provide baseload power to an electricity system or use its thermal output to support industrial applications with high pressure, high temperature steam.


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