Rolls-Royce receives huge boost as it ties up required funding to start supplying parts for mini nuclear reactors
- Qatar Investment Authority will pour £85m into Rolls-Royce’s nuclear offshoot
- Rolls can start scouting sites for factories to supply parts to build reactors
- The Small Modular Reactors can supply energy with zero carbon emissions
- SMRs are the size of two football pitches with capacity to power 1m homes
Rolls-Royce has received a huge boost as it tied up the required funding to start supplying parts for mini nuclear reactors.
The Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s wealth fund, will pour £85m into the engine-maker’s nuclear offshoot, which now has total funding of £490m.
It means it can start scouting sites for factories from which it will supply parts to build Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
Boost: The Qatar Investment Authority will pour £85m into Rolls-Royce’s nuclear offshoot, which now has total funding of £490m
The news also gives a boost to the UK’s net-zero targets as the reactors can supply huge amounts of energy with zero carbon emissions.
SMRs are small stations the size of two football pitches – around a tenth of the size of a normal nuclear plant – with the capacity to power one million homes.
Rolls-Royce’s government backed SMR project is expected to see the first reactors supplying homes within the next decade. Nuclear power will create around 40,000 regional jobs by 2050.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the investment was a ‘vote of confidence’ in the UK. He has hailed the opportunity to boost business here, and said he hopes many countries will buy British SMRs. The Czech Republic is among those to have already flagged an interest.
Minister for investment Lord Grimstone said the funding builds on the work of the COP26 climate summit and will create ‘thousands of highly skilled jobs’.
The Qatari fund will take a 10 per cent stake in Rolls-Royce SMR, its offshoot nuclear reactor business. Its injection comes after Rolls, BNF Resources and Exelon Generation agreed to inject £195m over three years, unlocking £210m in government grants. Rolls holds a 70 per cent stake in the SMR business.
Kwarteng said: ‘This investment is a clear vote of confidence in the UK’s global leadership in nuclear innovation and follows the £210m of government investment in the development of Small Modular Reactors.
‘It represents a huge step in our plan to deploy more homegrown, clean energy.’
Lord Grimstone said: ‘By investing millions in green tech, not only are we working hard to end our contribution to climate change, but we are securing thousands of highly skilled jobs.’