Saturday, September 29, 2012

Steenkampskraal Thorium Limited seeks funding for thorium plant project


Steenkampskraal Thorium Limited (STL) is a South African registered company in the business of beneficiating Thorium as a clean, safe energy resource. Founded in 2011, Steenkampskraal projects include commercialising the TH-100 which is a 35 MW Thorium-fuelled gas-cooled pebble bed reactor.

The TH-100 project is a Generation IV Reactor and associated fuel plant which can be built and commissioned within the next 5-10 years.

The same TH-100 reactor can be configured to cater for a variety of applications:
- Electricity generation using a standard off the shelf steam turbine generator,
- Process heat for use in chemical plants, paper mills or petrochemical plants,
- Heat for desalination or water purification plants,
- CO2 free steam for lifting bitumen from oil sands
- Power packs for Off-shore oil platforms
- Off-grid distributed power on islands and remote areas.
- Power plants for large electricity users such as mines, smelters, cement plants, refineries etc.

Associated projects are the Thorium/Plutonium mixed oxide fuel test qualification program with Thor Energy in Norway and the Pebble fuel plant project for production of thorium-based fuel spheres.

Steenkampskraal seeks to beneficiate thorium through the development of its Th-100 generators and associated fuel technologies and thereby contribute to sustainable energy solutions.

Steenkampskraal owns the technical capability to produce the Th-100 generators and associated thorium-based fuels. The company also works in conjunction with the Norwegian company, Thor Energy in which they hold a 15% stake.

According to Eben Mulder (CEO), “Steenkampskraal has developed a unique model to fund the thorium energy-based project. The model encompasses three phases. The concept design phase, the basic design phase and the detailed design phase. Steenkampskraal is seeking to obtain the necessary start-up capital to facilitate plant and equipment acquisition. The project is structured to award participants the opportunity to evaluate the outcome of every phase and to assess their own level of participation accordingly. Since every participating member would ideally also be a potential customer they will be in a position to acquire the first reactors and without having to pay a royalty fee.”

The company seeks to form a consortium of potential clients who will fund the project through the different stages of its design. With the concept design already being funded by STL, the company now calls on clients to further assist in funding the basic and detailed phases of the project. Clients can determine the extent to which they will be involved in the third phase, the detailed phase, depending on their evaluation of the basic design phase’s success. Risks and profits will be shared accordingly with the investors.

Steenkampskraal seeks to find investors mainly in the private sector and more specifically clients that wish to build their own reactors.

The pilot plant is planned to be approximately 36 meters long, 34 meters high and 28 meters wide and can be fully submerged below ground should it be required. Safety systems will be located to avoid foreign penetration and destruction to the plant. Depending on practical consideration the demo plant can be constructed either locally or internationally.

STL intends to make use of proven technology so as to ensure a swifter attaining of an operating license from regulators. This approach is also to ensure that STL achieves simplicity and predictability in their operations.

STL strives to deploy this technology for achieving an intrinsically safe fuel cycle commercially. In addition to this, observations from the US indicate that this alternative energy can serve a big market as there is a need for small sized, distributed, off-grid power plants.

“I believe that the country that makes the decision to licence and build this plant will establish itself in the nuclear industry through this Small Model Reactor (SMR) and the market.

The Steenkampskraal Th-100 plant is the only SMR that can be built in the near future that addresses issues relating to fuel cycle and that produces less problematic waste with less proliferation resistance than any other vendors today.” Mulder concluded.

STL will be presenting its investment opportunity at Viridis Africa on 16 – 17 October 2012 at the Killarney Country Club, Lower Houghton, Johannesburg. Viridis Africa is a venture capital and private equity investment summit for clean tech companies to raise capital for their technologies, projects or business expansion.
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