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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Top Estonian founders back nuclear power ‘startup’

Founders of Bolt and Pipedrive are among investors who have signed up to invest in 2.5 million euros Series A round of Estonian nuclear power firm Fermi Energia.

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The company, whose founders include Sandor Liive, the former head of Estonian state utility Eesti Energia, and Lingvist founder Mait Müntel,  has so far raised 560,000 euros from private investors and U.S. venture capital fund Last Energy VC.

Bolt founder Martin Villig and Pipedrive founder Martin Henk, are among key investors of the Series A investment round, Fermi said.

Fermi seeks to raise 1 million euros of its 2.5 million Series A through a crowdfunding campaign on Funderbeam as it prepares an application for the spatial planning process of Estonia. On the morning of Feb. 16 the campaign reached its target in just one hour since going public.

“Fermi’s decision to engage investors from the very start is a bold move. New energies are a crucial move to the sustainability of the planet,” Funderbeam’s CEO Kaidi Ruusalepp said in a statement.

The spatial planning process, which includes environmental, societal, economic and national security reviews, is expected to take up to five years. Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel project of Peter Vesterbacka aims to avoid Estonia’s lengthy spatial planning process, which is yet to be tested.

Fermi aims to start construction of its small modular reactor in 2030 and the plant would be producing electricity in 2035.

“Estonia has set an ambitious goal to end electricity production from oil shale by 2035. Simultaneously, the country cannot be dependent on wind and solar power only, as those sources depend on weather conditions, and the neighbouring countries are projected to be short on energy export output,” said Kalev Kallemets, Fermi CEO.

The closest nuclear reactor construction project to Estonia started in Finland in 2005. The Olkiluoto 3 reactor was scheduled to start in 2010. After 12 years of delays its due to start in 2022.

nuclear reactor, Fermi Energia, GE Hitachi
GE Hitachi BWRX-300, one of the candidates Fermi Energia is evaluating for Estonia’s first reactor

Cover photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Updates 11:08 Helsini time with reaching crowdfunfing target in one hour

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Tarmo Virki
Tarmo Virki
Hi its Tarmo here!

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