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Vattenfall to become a minority shareholder of Fermi Energia to explore the possibilities for Small Modular Reactors in Estonia

Swedish power company Vattenfall has signed an agreement with the Estonian nuclear energy start-up company Fermi Energia in order to become a minority shareholder of the company with a seed investment of 1 million euro.

In November 2020, Vattenfall extended its ongoing cooperation with Fermi Energia by signing a Letter of Intent to explore the possibilities for Small Modular Reactor (SMR) deployment in Estonia. Vattenfall has now accepted the opportunity to become a minority shareholder of approximately six per cent ownership.

“With this minority investment, Vattenfall can contribute our know-how and work jointly on feasibility studies about costing, supply chain and capabilities to construct and operate Small Modular Reactor technology,” said Torbjörn Wahlborg, Senior Vice President Generation at Vattenfall. “Innovative and fossil-free future nuclear generation such as SMR seems very promising for Estonia that has the highest average CO2 emissions per generated kilowatt-hoy (kWh) of electricity among all EU Member States.”

The extended collaboration will further explore the maturity of SMR technology and the prospects for deployment of one or several such reactors in Estonia until 2035. In addition to Vattenfall the initiative involves other European energy companies. All participants gain practical SMR technology insights and contribute their own experience.

“Fermi Energia considers true decarbonisation of Estonian economy impossible without reliable, affordable low carbon power supply from nuclear energy,” added Kalev Kallemets, CEO of Fermi Energia. “For Estonia, only Small Modular Reactors (SMR) as currently developed in the US, Canada and UK are suitable. The excellent safety record of multiple nuclear power plants by Vattenfall and its mission of fossil free living within one generation proves that Vattenfall is the right partner for us to move forward with SMR deployment.”

“Vattenfall investment will help finance crucial next steps in staffing, training programs,as well as technical and other studies,” he continued. “Over the coming years, we will together with Vattenfall execute several studies on SMR deployment, site visits and training courses that bring real value to both Estonia and Sweden.”

Today, Estonia has the highest average CO2 emissions per generated kWh of electricity among all EU member states. The Estonian government has formed a national working group on nuclear energy of senior civil servants of the majority of Ministries to assess the introduction of nuclear power generation. The group will analyse – with the help of foreign experts – the suitability of introducing nuclear energy for ensuring the security and safety of Estonia’s energy supply.

Photo: Vattenfall.

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