• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Business

‘Rockefellers of Uganda’ partner General Electric to make mini-nuclear reactors in UK

Madhvani International, the investment arm of the Madhvani business family, is currently pursuing plans to construct a series of small modular reactors in the UK, utilising technology from GE-Hitachi.

A photograph taken on June 19, 2024, shows a general view of the turbine hall of the Sizewell B nuclear power facility in Sizewell, UK. (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE MADHVANIS, an Indian family dynasty dubbed “the Rockefellers of Uganda”, have partnered with General Electric (GE) to propose a series of small-scale nuclear reactors in Britain, The Telegraph reported.

Originating their legacy in the east African nation in the 19th century, the Madhvanis lead a conglomerate that encompasses sugar farming, steel production, construction, hotels and insurance.

Earning their moniker by becoming one of Africa’s most influential families, they wield extensive business interests throughout the continent.

Madhvani International, the investment arm of the business family, is currently pursuing plans to construct a series of small modular reactors (SMRs) in the UK, utilising technology from GE-Hitachi.

Read: Uganda investment unit hosts UK, Dawoodi Bohras business delegation

Named “Project Quasar,” their initiative seeks to showcase “the immense potential” of SMR technology to other nations, paving the way for Madhvani International to promote its global development, the report added.

The Madhvanis plan to utilise GE-Hitachi’s BWRX-300 SMRs for their power plants, though specific locations are yet to be determined. Each reactor is designed to generate approximately 300 megawatts of power, with the company aiming to deploy its first reactor by the end of the current decade.

Read: Ugandan Asians invited to ‘invest in their motherland’

Madhvani International has revealed that it will try to develop around one gigawatt of capacity overall, indicating its intention to construct up to four reactors.

The UK’s former chief adviser Adrian Simper, who is now working with the Madhvanis, is of the opinion that the company picked the UK as it was viewed as “a gold standard for a nuclear deployment”, the daily report said.

“First, the UK is an open market in terms of technology in a way that France, for example, isn’t,” he was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

“The second factor is we have a regulatory system that is very highly regarded internationally, so if you can deploy a reactor here you can have confidence you can deploy it anywhere in the world.”

While the exact scale of the proposed investment has not been finalised, Simper noted that it is expected to amount to “billions of pounds”.

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