Essel Group Middle East has signed approximately $200m (€188m) in funding agreement for the LeadCold, a start-up engaged in the development of unique, reliable and safe micro-nuclear reactor.

LeadCold, which is supported by InnoEnergy, is working on Swedish Advanced Lead Reactor (SEALER) project to help power remote, off-grid areas. It is expected to be a cost effective and low carbon substitute for diesel generation.

The portable SEALER, which has been developed in partnership with the Swedish steel industry, uses a proprietary aluminum alloyed steel which is extremely corrosion resistant during long-term exposure to molten lead, InnoEnergy said.

LeadCold will use the Essel Group’ funding to license, commercialize and construct a demonstration unit and manufacturing plant for its technology.

LeadCold CEO Janne Wallenius said: “Our small reactor technology was designed on the basis of actual scientific progress, in order to meet the demands of a real market.

“This investment will allow us to license and construct the world’s first privately funded lead-cooled reactor.”

InnoEnergy said that it has supported LeadCold on its Highway program, a bespoke service initiated to support start-ups to commercial their technologies, since December 2015.

InnoEnergy CEO Diego Pavia said: “This funding will drive LeadCold to market, and represents a huge step forward in developing a sustainable substitute for CO2 heavy diesel generation in off-grid, remote areas.”

Using conventional uranium oxide fuel, the SEALER can produce 3-10MW of electric power without fuel reload.

Image: The Swedish Advanced Lead Reactor. Photo: courtesy of KIC InnoEnergy SE.