Ansaldo Nucleare-led consortium wins €10m contract for fusion project

The European Commission, through the General Directorate for Research and Innovation, has awarded a four-year €10m ($11.2m) Framework Contract to a consortium led by Ansaldo Nucleare.

The consortium also comprises Empresarios Agrupados Internacional and Framatome and the contract covers pre-conceptual design work for a European Fusion Demonstration Reactor.

The nuclear fusion project is seen as another important step towards clean, infinite and reliable energy for future generations and a vital step towards achieving viable commercial fusion.

The contract aims at an assessment of the nuclear fusion power plant physics and technology system architecture, overall configuration and system engineering processes.

The contract will provide services based on European industry-best practice in areas including system architecture, overall configuration and manufacturing options, and control systems.

Ansaldo Nucleare, part of Italy’s Ansaldo Energia group, is a member of the ITER fusion project since its beginning and has been involved in the fabrication of the vacuum vessel key elements and its assembly at the site in Cadarache, France.

The project is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and will contribute to the development of renewable energy sources in Poland.

The EIB is co-financing the project with DNB Bank Polska, each bank providing 50 per cent of senior debt (total amount PLN 164m). Owners of Energy Solar Projekty sp.z o.o., Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund, will put around 30 per cent of total funding needs of the project.

The projects will be sited in northern Poland, in the Voivodships of West Pomerania, Pomerania, Warmia-Masuria and Kuyavia-Pomerania.

Teresa Czerwinska, the vice president of EIB, said: “Photovoltaics play a role in the decarbonisation of the energy sector and are a fast-growing industry in many countries. Poland is no exception. The auction system introduced by the government has generated a lot of interest from domestic and international investors, as shown here by the Lithuanian company Lords LB Asset Management. This is the first concrete project financed by the EIB under a programme loan dedicated to solar energy in Poland and approved in 2018. We hope more will come to life in the near future”.

Domas Kacinskas, Board Member at Lords LB Asset Management and Manager of Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund pointed: “This loan will enable Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund to build on its momentum and expand its operations as the independent provider of energy services in Poland, with a stronger emphasis on smart energy management systems and solutions for energy efficiency. Investing in expansion of renewable energy sources will make a major contribution to combating climate change, while also saving on energy bills. Through this project, we aim to increase our competitiveness and make a significant contribution to accelerated decarbonisation of energy sector.”