Japanese bank buys into NuScale

04 April 2022

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has made a strategic investment of USD110 million in NuScale Power of the USA through a purchase of equity from Fluor Corporation, who remains the majority owner in NuScale. NuScale said the investment represents an expansion in US-Japanese cooperation to progress the deployment of advanced nuclear energy technology.

JBIC's participation in the investment in NuScale will be made via a special-purpose company established by Japanese engineering companies JGC Corporation (JGC) and IHI Corporation (IHI) to make equity investments in NuScale.

In 2021, NuScale secured significant investments from JGC and IHI. The two companies formed Japan NuScale Innovation LLC (JNI) as the conduit for its NuScale investments.

JBIC is a policy-based financial institution of the Japanese government that conducts lending, investment and guarantee operations while complementing private sector financial institutions, and the organisation has a priority to invest in businesses that will protect the global environment.

In the Sixth Strategic Energy Plan approved by the cabinet in October 2021, the Japanese government confirmed its position to promote international cooperative efforts for the research, development and demonstration of small modular reactor (SMR) technologies, and the equity participation by JBIC is based on that policy.

"JGC and IHI are planning to be involved in the commercialisation process of the SMR by investing in NuScale, and JBIC made the equity investment to support their plan, thereby contributing toward maintaining and improving the international competitiveness of the Japanese nuclear power industry," JBIC said.

"With this new announcement, the investment will solidify JNI's position as the single second largest investor in NuScale Power," NuScale said.

Following the sale and the currently pending merger of NuScale with Spring Valley Acquisition Corporation, JNI is expected to hold approximately 8% to 9% of NuScale.

"NuScale looks forward to having JNI as a significant NuScale investor to move the world closer toward our goals of decarbonisation, while improving lives by supplying clean, affordable, reliable energy," said NuScale President and CEO John Hopkins. "This partnership capitalises on NuScale's ongoing momentum to bring America's first SMR to market and to secure a better future for all."

"This strategic investment by JBIC, together with previous Japanese investments by JGC and IHI, further validates the successful 11-year, USD1.3 billion private-public partnership of Fluor, NuScale and the US Department of Energy," said Fluor CEO David Constable. "The newly-formed Japanese private-public partnership, along with other strategic investors, provides a strong financial and execution-ready platform for the widespread deployment of safe, affordable, carbon-free energy solutions."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News