General Fusion raises $27m, construction on large-scale prototype two years away

A B.C.-based clean energy company is continuing to clean up when it comes to investments. 

General Fusion's compression system is an experimental prototype of the sphere that will contain the superheated plasma that, once compressed, will yield fusion energy. CEO Nathan Gilliland says construction on a large-scale prototype is two years away from commencing | Photo: Submitted

A B.C.-based clean energy company is continuing to clean up when it comes to investments.

Burnaby’s General Fusion announced Tuesday (May 19) its latest funding round has brought in an additional $27 million to its coffers.

General Fusion was established in 2002 with the mandate of harnessing fusion power — a process by which atoms release energy when merged together and lose mass.

CEO Nathan Gilliland told Business in Vancouver the company is using the money to boost its research budget as the prospect of commercialization inches closer.

“We’ve made a lot of progress over the last five years and at this point want to prove out…the final couple pieces of our technology,” Gilliland said, adding he expects the company to begin building a large-scale prototype after two more years of research.

The company has raised more than $100 million in investments since 2002 and General Fusion is leaving the window open for the funding round for an additional 90 days.

The Malaysian government’s sovereign wealth fund, the Khazanah Nasional Berhad, led this latest funding round. Other investors included Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Bezos Expenditions, Cenovus Energy, Growthworks, and Braemar Energy Ventures.

“The (Malaysian government) has really been targeting the Vancouver area as a hub of innovation,” Gilliland said.

“It’s validation of the clean energy and sustainability hub that Vancouver is trying to create and I think it’s part of that evolution that Vancouver represents.”

torton@biv.com

@reporton