Fusion energy pioneer Tokamak hires JP Morgan for huge fundraising

A British-based fusion energy pioneer has enlisted a leading Wall Street bank to raise a mammoth funding round amid growing hopes that its industry can help solve one of the world's biggest energy challenges.

Sky News has learnt that Tokamak Energy, which is based near Oxford, is working with JP Morgan on plans to secure a funding injection likely to be worth several hundred million pounds.

Discussions with prospective investors are understood to have been under way for some time, according to insiders.

Tokamak, which last raised funding in 2020, hopes to capitalise on a global wave of interest in energy produced from nuclear fusion.

Last month, the US Department of Energy reported a net energy gain from a fusion reaction, which Tokamak chief executive Chris Kelsall described as "great for the industry as more private and public investment flows into fusion technology".

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In a statement issued to Sky News on Thursday, Mr Kelsall said: "In the last 12 months we have achieved significant scientific milestones with our latest prototype spherical tokamak and have recently announced our future roadmap for the next phase of development towards competitive, commercial fusion.

"Tokamak Energy is evaluating opportunities with potential financial investors and strategic partners, to support our plans to demonstrate clean, grid-ready fusion power by the early 2030s."

The company was founded in 2009 as a spin-off from the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy and now employs more than 200 people.

To date, it has raised $250m (£205m), comprising $200m (£164m) from private investors and $50m (£41m) from the UK and US governments.

Other players in the sector include First Light Fusion, which has engaged bankers at UBS on plans to raise new funding.