Tim Hartnoll-led X-Press Feeders, the largest independent common carrier in the world, has bought into CORE POWER, a British firm developing advanced atomic power solutions for shipping. X-Press Feeders is one of six significant shipping names to have invested in the London-headquartered atomic firm, it was revealed today.
Mikal Bøe’s CORE POWER, together with Bill Gates-chaired TerraPower, Southern Company and French atomic group Orano, is developing a modular molten salt reactor (m-MSR) to propel ships and provide reliable energy for manufacturing synthetic green fuels from hydrogen. The first prototype reactor is due to start trials in 2025.
According to a release on the X-Press Feeders site, the technology it is investing in delivers a base power load with zero emissions and minimal residual waste on decommissioning. It will measure 3.5 x 3.5 x 7.5 m, weighing 450 tons and it can be produced in factory-controlled conditions.
No details on the size of the investment have been made public.
This is what shipowners do best, put their money where their mouth is
X-Press Feeders has also revealed it is investigating possibilities to get some of its future ships powered by either methanol or ammonia, both of which can be produced with MSR power.
“We are witnessing an energy transition, the like of which we have not seen since the transition from coal to oil,” Hartnoll wrote in a release posted on the X-Press Feeders site.
Bøe commented to Splash: “The Hartnolls have been outstanding in their support for our work. Having the support of a global industry leader is an endorsement of our vision to provide a safe, long term, sustainable energy source for shipping. We’ve secured substantial investments from six significant household shipping names so far. I believe this is what shipowners do best, put their money where their mouth is.”
The CORE POWER units Bøe’s team has developed for shipping use high-assay low-enriched uranium, capable of powering the largest ships afloat today.