New Build

Poland / Government Presented With ‘Comprehensive’ US Offer On Building AP1000 Plants, Says Westinghouse Official

By Kamen Kraev
7 September 2022

Warsaw yet to take decision on technology vendor with France and South Korea also in running
Government Presented With ‘Comprehensive’ US Offer On Building AP1000 Plants, Says Westinghouse Official
Warsaw wants to have its first reactor unit running in 2033, but no technology vendor has been selected yet. Image courtesy Creative Commons.
The Polish government has been presented with “a comprehensive offer” for the country’s nuclear new-build programme including proposals on financing by US institutions, Miroslaw Kowalik, president of Westinghouse Poland, told local media.

According to Mr Kowalik, the offer was submitted by the US side in early September and comes on top of a front-end engineering and design (Feed) study by US-based companies Westinghouse Electric and Bechtel which was completed in June on building three AP1000 reactor units at a site in northern Poland.

The Feed study provides layout plans for the location of the first nuclear power station at Lubiatowo-Kopalino, in Pomerania, a strategic licensing plan, a project schedule, and a cost estimate for delivery, construction and startup of the first power plant.

Mr Kowalik told economic portal WNP that the Feed study was the technical part to the project offer while the government has now been presented with a “concept execution report”, which includes details of financing for the project by US institutions.

The Polish government will have at its disposal “a solid study” to use for its decision on the choice of a technology provider for its nuclear power programme, Mr Kowalik said.

Poland wants to build from 6,000 to 9,000 MW of installed nuclear capacity based on Generation III and III+ large-scale, pressurised water reactor designs. Commercial operation of a first nuclear unit in a proposed set of six is planned for 2033.

Warsaw has not decided yet on who will be building the plants or providing the nuclear technology. It has already received offers from France’s EDF for its EPR reactor design and South Korea’s KHNP for its APR-1400 technology.

Study Puts Cost For Six Units At €39 Billion

The cost of building two new nuclear power stations in Poland with up to three reactors each is likely to be about €39bn ($38.6bn), a recent study by the Polish Economic Institute found.

Poland has been tight-lipped about its cost estimations for the first station, but has laid out a plan for the proposed investment.

According to a 2020 nuclear programme, the Polish state will initially have 100% of shares in a company set up to invest in nuclear energy, but once a co-investor is chosen the state will maintain 51% of shares in the company and the co-investor will take 49%. The co-investor must be “related to the technology provider”.

Last year, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe was registered as a company owned entirely by the Polish state treasury and charged with preparing the nuclear new-build projects. It succeeded PGE EJ1 as the project owner, after previous majority-owner energy company PGE decided to focus on other energy sources.

Mr Kowalik did not specify any of the US institutions to be potentially involved in financially supporting Poland’s nuclear programme, but Warsaw signed in 2020 an agreement with the US Export-Import (Exim) Bank to finance projects supporting climate change in Poland, including potential new reactors.

The Feed study by Westinghouse and Bechtel was funded by a grant released by the US Trade and Development Agency in mid-2021.

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