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Poland / Joint Venture Submits Application For Decision-In-Principle On New Nuclear At Patnow Coal Site

By David Dalton
18 August 2023

Company plans to have first of two South Korea-supplied reactors online as early as 2035

Joint Venture Submits Application For Decision-In-Principle On New Nuclear At Patnow Coal Site
PGE Pak Energia Jadrowa is planning two nuclear power plants at the Patnow coal site in central Poland.

A Polish joint venture company has submitted an application for a decision-in-principle on the construction of a nuclear power plant consisting of at least two South Korean-supplied APR1400 reactors with a target date for commercial operation of 2035.

PGE Pak Energia Jadrowa, a joint venture between state energy group PGE and private energy company Ze Pak, said the application was submitted to the Ministry of Climate and Environment for a nuclear power station at a coal site in the Patnow-Konin region of the Wielkopolska province in central Poland.

PGE Pak Energia Jadrowa was formed earlier this year to be responsible for all aspects of the project to build at least two South Korean APR-1400 pressurised water reactor units at the Patnow coal plant site, including an initial feasibility study, site surveys, an environmental impact assessment, licensing procedures and securing of financing.

In January, a Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) official said it would be feasible to deploy up to four of the company’s APR-1400s at Patnow.

The site has two coal-fired power plants in commercial operation with a combined output of about 1,100 MW, which makes it one of Poland’s largest energy facilities.

Ze Pak, which owns the Patnow site, has been looking at nuclear energy as an option to decarbonise its generation portfolio. The company operates four power plants in Poland and has interests in lignite mining.

In October 2022, Ze Pak and PGE signed a letter of intent with KHNP for eventual deployment of APR1400 plants at Patnow.

PGE said two reactors could provide Polish homes and businesses with about 22 TWh of energy, or about 12% of today’s energy consumption in Poland.

Crucial Step In Planning Process

The company said obtaining a decision-in-principle is crucial for starting further works related to the location, environmental studies and finally applying for a permit to build a nuclear power station.

Jakub Rybicki, president of PGE Pak Energia Jądrowa, said: “We are starting negotiations with our Korean partner regarding the feasibility study, agreements on financing our project and the creation of a Polish-Korean company that will directly lead this process.”

Poland is bullish on nuclear and a number of projects have begun to develop large-scale plants and small modular reactors.

In July the climate ministry approved plans for the country’s first commercial nuclear power station, which will be built in Pomerania in the north of the country with for Westinghouse-supplied AP1000 plants.

The ministry has also issued a decision-in-principle for copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Miedz’s plan to build a NuScale Voygr SMR plant with a capacity of 462 MW.

KGHM wants to explore the deployment of SMR technology to repurpose or replace existing coal-fired power plants and provide electricity and heat for its industrial processes.

KGHM said that by 2030, it wants 50% of the electricity it uses to come from its own sources.

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