A revolutionary Danish energy company aims to accelerate decarbonisation in Singapore and across SEA
Contribution by Jan Holm, Executive Vice President at Seaborg Technologies.
For more information about Seaborg Technologies and their solutions, please contact:
Jan Holm, Executive Vice President
Following the Energy Market Authority’s (EMA) newly released report “Charting the energy transition to 2050” it is clear that Singapore is standing in front of a large change in the way energy is produced and consumed if the country is to reach its 2050 ambitions of reaching net-zero emissions in the power sector.
A revolutionary Danish energy company with a recently rewarded grant and potential investment by the European Commission, may provide the solution.
Introducing Seaborg Technologies.
The conclusions in the latest report by IPCC, the UNs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, state that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are increasing and that Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as declared under the Paris Agreement will not limit global warming to 1,5°C. Global Warming constitutes one of the biggest challenges that humanity has ever had to face, and with a growing global population and an increasing demand for energy, the challenge is only getting bigger.
For a country like Singapore that lacks natural resources and is renewable energy-disadvantaged due to limited sun, wind and geothermal energy, it is natural to look to alternative sources for low-emission energy. That this is a pathway the country should actively pursue is stated in the EMAs report:
Given that Singapore and many other countries in South East Asia have limited options to decarbonise their power sectors, it should actively monitor developments in new supply technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS), geothermal, biomethane, nuclear fission small modular reactors (SMRs), and nuclear fusion technologies.
The global climate and energy crisis calls for new, innovative solutions, and this is where Seaborg Technologies becomes highly relevant.
Seaborg Technologies – the future of energy production
Seaborg Technologies was founded in 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark, by a group of physicists who were brewing beer in a basement and discussing the future of energy production. Today, having developed a next-generation Compact Molten Salt Reactor (CMSR), the company has more than 100 employees, offices in South Korea and Singapore, multiple state-of-the-art laboratories and partnerships with shipyards, nuclear players and heavy industry.
(Source: Seaborg Technologies)
"To us, the necessity to provide clean and safe energy to especially South East Asia has really been our focus-point above all for the past years. For various reasons, wind and solar is very difficult, and our relatively small reactors on barges is a very logical, safe and cheap alternative to fossil fuels" - says CEO Troels Schonfeldt, a PhD in nuclear physics and one of the co-founders of Seaborg.
The company was earlier this week rewarded with a grant and potential investment of up to €17,5 million by the European Commissions EIC Accelerator programme. Only 74 companies were selected out of more than 1.000 applicants and the company sees it as a strong symbol of support of the potential impact of the technology.
Seaborg Technologies’ nuclear reactor builds on well-demonstrated technology dating back to the 1950s. However, the technology of their nuclear reactors makes them stand out:
their reactors cannot melt down or explode,
they cannot release dangerous nuclear gasses into the air or the sea, and
they cannot be weaponized and used as nuclear weapons.
And they can be built in industrial scale and are excellent for providing safe Power-to-X solutions.
In addition, the reactor emits no GHGs while operating, it has the lowest resource use of any energy technology, and it is functional for about 12 years without refuelling. It is further possible to power the reactor by running it on nuclear waste from older reactors, albeit this would require regulatory approval.
In the CMSR, the fuel is mixed into a molten fluoride salt, which also acts as the coolant. This provides significant safety benefits. Should the fuel salt ever come into contact with the atmosphere, it will simply cool and turn into solid rock, just like lava. This does not mean that these solid rocks are meant to come into contact with humans, as they are still radioactive, but it makes it possible to clean any eventual leaks, and more importantly, it severely increases the safety of nuclear energy production, which is already the safest way to produce energy.
(Source: Seaborg Technologies)
The CMSR developed by Seaborg Technologies is able to fit into a shipping container making it possible to deploy the energy production via floating barges. By deploying the reactors on barges, the company works towards bringing cheap, safe and low-carbon nuclear power to places that are remote or hard to decarbonise. Placing the nuclear reactors on barges makes them highly suitable for small remote power grids and further has the advantage that the entire energy production takes place offshore, removing the need to buy and take up land.
Providing a solution to satisfy energy demand in South East Asia
In a not so distant future, Seaborg aims to provide a safe, efficient and sustainable energy source for the more than 650 million people living in Southeast Asia – many of them on remote islands.
“Energy has always been and will continue to be one of the most significant elements in creating wealth and welfare for everyone. Today, energy-poverty is a big issue all over the World – without stable and safe energy, there will be no development in any country. If anything, that is what our solution brings an answer to” - says Jan Holm, Executive Vice President of Seaborg and head of the company’s office in Singapore.
Apart from being able to supply green electricity to around 200,000 households from the smallest barge, the power barges will also be able to clean water from desalination and provide district heating and cooling. Furthermore, the outlet temperatures stemming from the energy production can be exploited to produce synthetic fuels, carbon-neutral hydrogen and fertilizers.
Thus, the next-generation CMSR by Seaborg Technologies offers a solution to the growing energy demand in South East Asia, which will double by 2040 according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its Southeast Asia Energy Outlook 2019. By out-competing fossil fuels, the technology offers to eradicate energy poverty, revolutionise the energy markets and lower global GHG emissions – all at the same time.
With commercial mass production scheduled to be ready by 2028, the floating nuclear reactors offer an energy source that is easy to connect to existing power grids. Having already established an office in Singapore, Seaborg Technologies hopes to repeat the success story from Denmark and attract local talent, create sustainable job opportunities in the supply stream, and help Singapore build a nuclear ecosystem.
For more information please contact
Jan Holm, Executive Vice President