Qatar invests in Rolls-Royce SMR

20 December 2021

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) - the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar - has become the latest shareholder in Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd. The project company commercialising a new reactor design is now fully funded, said the Rolls-Royce Group.

A rendering of how a Rolls-Royce SMR plant might look (Image: Rolls-Royce)

QIA made an investment of GBP85 million (USD112 million) to secure a 10% shareholding in Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd, Rolls-Royce said today. QIA is investing in the energy transition and funding the technologies that enable low carbon electricity generation, said Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud the CEO of the QIA.

The investment means the capital needed to establish Rolls-Royce SMR has now been raised, said Warren East, CEO of the Rolls-Royce group. "It is encouraging to confirm that the business is now set up to succeed," he added.

Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd was created in November with investment from BNF Resources UK, Exelon Generation and the Rolls-Royce Group as owners. Their commitments unlocked a further GBP210 million from the UK government. With QIA's GBP85 million, the Rolls-Royce SMR business is now fully funded, the company said, having secured GBP490 million (USD647 milllion) through commercial equity and UK Research and Innovation grant funding.

UK Minister for Business and Energy Kwasi Kwarteng said the investment "represents a huge step forward in our plan to deploy more home-grown, affordable clean energy - ensuring greater energy independence for the UK, highly skilled jobs and bringing cheaper, cleaner electricity to people's homes."

Rolls-Royce has been a nuclear reactor plant designer since the start of the UK nuclear submarine programme in the 1950s. Its pressurised water-based SMR draws on "standard nuclear energy technology", it says, and envisages that a Rolls-Royce SMR power station will have the capacity to generate 470 MWe. It applied to the UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation to begin the Generic Design Assessment process in November and earlier this month Rolls-Royce SMR CEO Tom Samson told the Nuclear 2021 conference he wanted to begin discussions with the regulator in January 2022.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News