Viaro partners with Newcleo to decarbonise oil and gas assets

05 March 2024

Innovative reactor developer Newcleo and London-based independent upstream energy company Viaro Energy Limited have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining a framework for planned collaborative activities to deploy Newcleo's lead-cooled fast reactors to decarbonise Viaro's oil and gas sites.

Following the completion of feasibility studies, the companies plan to establish a joint venture for the deployment of UK-headquartered Newcleo's 200 MWe lead-cooled fast reactors (LFRs) at chosen sites within Viaro's portfolio, assessing both existing assets and prospective acquisitions in which Viaro is currently engaged.

"The technology will contribute to net-zero goals by maximising the benefits of advanced modular reactors for cogeneration, combined heat and power and off-grid application," the companies said.

Viaro has also directly invested in Newcleo by way of acquiring shares in its latest capital raise.

Newcleo's proposed small modular LFRs would use MOX fuel. Newcleo is planning a 30 MWe lead-cooled fast neutron test reactor in France in 2030, with a 200 MWe first-of-a-kind commercial unit planned for the UK in 2032. In June 2022, Newcleo announced it had contracted France's Orano for feasibility studies on the establishment of a MOX production plant.

"This is an exciting partnership and demonstrates the potential for Newcleo's technology to support industrial decarbonisation," said Newcleo Chairman and CEO Stefano Buono. "The transition to net-zero will only be achieved by decarbonising not only the energy, transport and heat sectors but also energy intensive and 'hard to abate' heavy industries.

"Our technology means that, for the first time, nuclear reactors will provide decentralised, baseload, low-carbon energy to customers with enhanced safety and security of supply. Viaro's pragmatic and forward-looking approach will help them to blaze a trail towards lower-carbon operations in the oil and gas sector and we are delighted to be partnering with them and to provide energy solutions to make their aims a reality."

Viaro Energy CEO Francesco Mazzagatti added: "The partnership with Newcleo is a major milestone in our strategy to exemplify the only economically viable approach to the energy transition by investing in both energy security and long-term net-zero goals.

"We are proud to spearhead decarbonisation efforts in the oil and gas sector through the implementation of Newcleo's clean nuclear energy technology into our operations."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News