Fluor Corporation-backed NuScale Power, a nuclear small modular reactor technology company in Oregon, plans to go public through a merger with Dallas-based Spring Valley Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company.
The combined company, NuScale Power Corporation, will have an estimated value of about $1.9 billion, according to the announcement.
The deal creates a “first-of-its-kind energy company”—the first publicly traded company focused on nuclear small modular reactor technology—that will trade under the ticker symbol “SMR” after closing. The merger is expected to complete in the first half of 2022.
NuScale is the only company to receive a standard design approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its NuScale Power Module. The company said the advanced nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) technology is viable and near-term deployable.
‘A bellwether company’
Christopher D. Sorrells, CEO of Spring Valley, said NuScale is “a bellwether company” whose pioneering technology can have a “transformational impact on humanity by improving the energy sector.”
“By receiving Standard Design Approval from the NRC, NuScale has helped establish a new standard in nuclear safety, and in doing so, developed a new carbon-free power solution that provides unique capabilities and performance that can realistically factor into the clean energy transition in the near term,” he said in a statement.
“This is the rare chance to invest in an industry-defining technology,” according to Sorrells. “We are very pleased to partner with NuScale and its deeply knowledgeable management team to bring this critical technology to market.”
Transaction could provide around $413 million
The transaction could provide around $413 million to boost the commercialization of NuScale’s SMR tech.
“Fluor expects that the proposed transaction will bolster and accelerate the path to commercialization and deployment of NuScale Power’s unique small modular nuclear reactor technology,” said Alan L. Boeckmann, executive chairman of Irving-based Fluor Corporation, in a statement. “This is the next step in Fluor’s plan, first outlined 10 years ago, to work closely with NuScale Power, Congress and the Department of Energy to commercialize this unique carbon-free energy technology.”
Irving-based Fluor is the majority shareholder
Irving-based Fluor expects to control about 60% of the combined company.
Fluor, which made a “significant investment” in NuScale Power in 2011, is the company’s majority shareholder. Since then, the NuScale has operated independently with Fluor providing some services to NuScale. Fluor says it will continue to be an important partner for engineering services, project management, administrative and supply chain support.
According to Boeckmann, “today’s announcement is further evidence that cost-shared government funding to build first-of-a-kind commercial-scale technology can attract private investment and yield results.”
To date, NuScale has more than 600 granted or pending patents for its proprietary tech.
Building next-gen nuclear power tech
John Hopkins, president and CEO of NuScale, says the company is building next-gen nuclear power technology—”safer, more versatile and more cost-efficient than ever before.”
The design of the NPM eliminates the need for two-thirds of the safety systems and components found in today’s large commercial reactors, the company said in the announcement. That “significantly improves the economics of NuScale plants compared to traditional nuclear power plants.”
In terms of safety, NuScale says its reactors are “designed to safely shut down in an emergency and self-cool, indefinitely, with no need for operator or computer action, power or the addition of water – a first for any commercial nuclear power plant.”
“The scale of our ambition is only matched by the world’s enormous decarbonization needs, and now is the right time to accelerate and expand our efforts to bring our trailblazing SMR technology to more customers around the world,” Hopkins said in a statement.
“Spring Valley will be a highly complementary strategic partner for NuScale as we enter this next phase of growth, with leadership that brings deep expertise in sustainable energy and a strong operating and investment record in the energy sector, including in nuclear power.”
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