Essel Group Middle East signed a deal to invest approximately $200M (€188M) in LeadCold – an InnoEnergy supported start-up that has developed a unique, reliable and safe micro-nuclear reactor. A cost effective and low carbon substitute for diesel generation, LeadCold’s innovation is designed to bring power to remote, off-grid areas.
Small enough to be easily transported and safe enough to avoid any need for evacuation, even in cases of severe incident, LeadCold’s Swedish Advanced Lead Reactor (SEALER) uses a proprietary aluminum alloyed steel. Developed in partnership with the Swedish steel industry, the unique metal is extremely corrosion resistant during long-term exposure to molten lead.
An initial investment of $18.2M was informally agreed in October. That investment was earmarked for completion of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission licensing needed to support the company’s in-country activity. The additional sum agreed on Friday will fund the build of a fully functional demonstration unit and production plant and allow the company to begin commercialisation.
“Our small reactor technology was designed on the basis of actual scientific progress, in order to meet the demands of a real market. Our ability to attract this significant funding from an industrial investor recognises that,” says Janne Wallenius, CEO, LeadCold. “This investment will allow us to license and construct the world’s first privately funded lead-cooled reactor. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this success without our supporters – most notably InnoEnergy. The company’s expert support has paved our way to market.”
“We are excited that our support of LeadCold via our Highway programme has resulted in this significant investment, a recognition of the impact that their new technology will have,” says Diego Pavia, CEO of InnoEnergy. “This funding will drive LeadCold to market, and represents a huge step forward in developing a sustainable substitute for CO2 heavy diesel generation in off-grid, remote areas.”
InnoEnergy has supported LeadCold on its Highway programme since december 2015. The Highway offers a bespoke service to support early stage start-ups to commercial success.
Congratulations to LeadCold as well as InnoEnergy Business Creation team for this tremendous achievement in a 13-month period of time.