Briefing

Vancouver’s General Fusion raises $85.5 million to build nuclear power plant prototype

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Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek led the round; the Cleantech Practice of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) joined as a first-time investor. Alongside the new money, Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) released $50 million in previously announced funds to help with construction. (The Logic)

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Talking point: General Fusion wants to prove that nuclear fusion energy, which is carbon-free, can be sold commercially at mass scale. According to the firm, one litre of its fuel generates the equivalent of 50,000 barrels of oil. The company has raised over US$200 million since 2002 from a number of high-profile investors, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. It is playing catch-up, however, to a US$25-billion fusion reactor on which a 35-country group has been working since 2010. The release of the SIF funding is a vote of confidence from the federal department, which announced the investment over a year ago, but typically only releases money after targets are met. For BDC, this investment follows The Logic’s reporting that it had backed a number of cleantech firms that weren’t hitting their goals.