Doosan Enerbility has solidified its position as a “global SMR foundry” in the United States, which is currently recognized as the leader of the SMR market.
On April 25th (local time), Doosan Enerbility laid the foundation for targeting global markets by signing memorandums of understanding with several SMR technology holders and financial institutions, including the US-based NuScale Power and the Export-Import Bank of Korea(KEXIM), at the “Korea-US Advanced Industry & Clean Energy Partnership” event held in Washington D.C. for pursuing cooperation in the areas of technical, financial support and supply chains. Doosan Enerbility’s Chairman and CEO Geewon Park had the honor of being the sole keynote speaker from among the Korean energy companies including SMR companies, at the event that day.
Doosan Enerbility’s senior management also held several meetings that day with the management of NuScale Power and X-energy to discuss follow-up measures to the MOUs and other possible methods of cooperation. The series of meetings held that day were particularly noteworthy as being between companies touted as the global leaders of SMR development and Doosan Enerbility, a Korean company with world-class expertise in manufacturing SMR components.
“Today’s event garnered worldwide attention as it was where South Korea and the United States proclaimed the vision of partnering up to jointly target the global SMR market,” remarked a source from Doosan Enerbility. “It looks like the expectations for greater synergy and market growth is what attracted all these leading companies here from both countries.”
Those from Doosan Enerbility and NuScale Power came together that day to hold business meetings and attend a dinner banquet. The attendees, including Doosan Enerbility’s Chairman & CEO Geewon Park, NuScale Power’s President & CEO John Hopkins and the management team from both companies, held discussions regarding the follow-up measures needed after the signing of the MOU.
NuScale Power, which aims to expand its business reach to Asia, is planning to make active use of Korea’s supply chain by entering into a partnership with Doosan Enerbility. Doosan Enerbility will be leveraging its nuclear component manufacturing expertise and experience to help lay the foundation for local production of NuScale Power’s SMRs in the States.
In 2019, Doosan Enerbility became the first Korean company to make an equity investment in NuScale Power, and the two companies have continued to enjoy close cooperative ties, with Doosan having made equity investments totaling USD 104 million to date in NuScale Power together with a group of Korean financial investors.
Doosan Enerbility, which had signed an agreement with NuScale last year to manufacture the key materials used in the SMRs, will be commencing production of the reactor for NuScale’s first SMR plant in the U.S. at the end of this year. The UAMPS* Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) plant, the first SMR project to be pursued by NuScale in the States, is targeted to be built by 2029 in the state of Idaho. A total of six 77MW NuScale power modules will be deployed, collectively generating 462MW of electricity.* Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS): Electric energy provider in Utah, USA.
Prior to the dinner banquet with NuScale Power, Doosan Enerbility’s CEO Geewon Park and the senior management met with Chairman Kam Ghaffarian and CEO Clay Sell of X-energy, a developer of Generation IV high temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactors, during the afternoon hours to discuss possible cooperation initiatives for hydrogen production using SMRs.
The U.S. Department of Energy(DOE) is actively supporting the development of high temperature gas-cooled SMRs as a means of responding to the climate crisis. X-energy was awarded with an initial $80 million for the “Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP)” and a total sum of $1.2 billion is to be provided as financial support for the demonstration of X-energy’s advanced high temperature gas-cooled SMR.
In 2021, Doosan Enerbility joined as a partner in X-energy’s high temperature gas-cooled SMR production and design process. This past January, the partnership between the two companies was taken a step further by entering into an agreement on an equity investment and the supply of key equipment and materials for the SMR.
“Through this event, we were able to confirm the high level of interest and commitment shared by the governments of both the U.S. and South Korea toward the SMR business,” remarked Doosan Enerbility’s Chairman & CEO Geewon Park after attending the MOU signing ceremony and a series of SMR related business meetings that day. “By leveraging our technical skills and experience in the nuclear business and our local Korean partners’ capabilities, we plan to pursue various avenues of cooperation with SMR developers to solidify our position as a leading global SMR foundry.”
In order for a company to firmly establish itself as a global SMR foundry, the criteria of having a high understanding of nuclear engineering, unparalleled manufacturing expertise and a strong supply chain will have to be fulfilled. As Doosan Enerbility has participated in the manufacturing of main components for various types of reactors, including the APR1400, the company has a high level of understanding regarding nuclear engineering and the nuclear sector in general. As such, Doosan is already currently engaged in some SMR design work. Doosan also has the capability to perform one-stop manufacturing, starting from forging materials to producing finished products, such as reactors and steam generators. The company has already proven its competency in this field through the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant project in the UAE. Furthermore, Doosan Enerbility’s supply chain for nuclear components, centering around the Changwon industrial complex, is also recognized worldwide for its competitiveness.