SK units have become shareholder of US TerraPower
SK Group’s two affiliates of SK Corp and SK Innovation announced on Aug. 16 that the two had finished investing 300 billion won ($250 million) in TerraPower based in Bellevue, Washington.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates established TerraPower in the late 2000’s with the goal of exploring significant improvements to nuclear power using 21st-centry technologies.
Through the equity investment, the two SK units have become large shareholders of TerraPower, which raised $750 million this time.
The company is regarded as one of global leaders in next-generation small modular reactor (SMRs), which are designed to reduce nuclear wastes and improve safety.
With the help of the U.S. government, TerraPower selected a coal town in Wyoming as a place to build a demonstration reactor, which it strives to start operating in 2028.
SK Group said that the transaction is one of the largest investments in a single company in the advanced nuclear power industry.
The Seoul-based conglomerate has tried to find partners in eco-friendly businesses as it tried to achieve a net-zero footprint. It also vowed to reduce 200 million tons of carbon emissions by 2030.
“SK intends to amplify the synergies with TerraPower by bringing together TerraPower’s innovative, next-generation nuclear technology and production capability for therapeutic radioisotopes with SK’s diverse energy and biotech portfolios,” an SK official said.
TerraPower CEO Chris Levesque noted that the company would keep solving challenging problems along with its partners, including SK Group.
“TerraPower is committed to solving some of the toughest challenges that face this generation through innovation,” he said.
“Whether it’s addressing climate change with carbon-free advanced nuclear energy, or fighting cancer with nuclear isotopes, our team is deploying technology solutions and investors across the world are taking note.”