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Poland / Large Coal Plant Operator Interested To Invest In Nuclear, Say Reports

By Kamen Kraev
9 July 2021

Russia’s Kaliningrad plant is among options
Large Coal Plant Operator Interested To Invest In Nuclear, Say Reports
Image Courtesy Flickr/Lukas Plewnia.
Poland’s fourth largest electricity producer and operator of four coal-fired power plants ZE PAK might be interested to invest in the construction of nuclear power plants in Poland and overseas as a way to transition away from fossil fuel generation, the Polsat broadcasting media reported.

"ZE PAK is considering many options, including participation in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Poland from scratch, which will most likely take many years”, said Tomasz Matwiejczuk, a spokesman for Polish billionaire Zygmunt Solorz, majority shareholder of ZE PAK and Polsat.

"Another option could be a capital investment in foreign assets, with one of the options analysed being a potential investment together with other reputable and experienced partners in the nuclear power plant already under construction in [Russia’s] Kaliningrad district”, Mr Matwiejczuk said according to Polsat.

Russia began building the Baltic (or Kaliningrad) nuclear power station in 2012 in its enclave Kaliningrad district nestled between Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea. Two VVER-1200 pressurised water reactor units were planned for the site.

Data by the International Atomic Energy Agency shows that construction of the first unit, Baltic-1, began in February 2012. However, construction was suspended in 2013 reportedly over financing concerns and according to the World Nuclear Association, “due to lack of interest in the project from the Baltic states, Poland and Germany”. The project is no longer present on the list of domestic project of Russian state nuclear operator Rosenergoatom.

ZE PAK, which owns the Patnow, Adamow, and Konin (hence ‘PAK’) coal plants in western Poland, has to undergo an “urgent transformation” away from fossil fuels and was among the first to implement a plan to phase out coal assets and close mines, said Tomasz Matwiejczuk for Polsat.

In the framework of these transformation efforts, ZE PAK is considering many options including projects in European Union countries, talks with US companies, and the idea of taking over a nuclear power plant already under advanced construction, he said.

“Without nuclear power, the Polish energy system may practically not survive” Mr Matwiejczuk said and added that renewables could provide “a certain amount of energy”, however a nuclear power plant could be “a stable source of clean and cheap energy”.

Last week Poland’s Polykia Insight, a business intelligence service, made claims that ZE PAK was interested to invest in the Baltic nuclear station, which lead to a wave of media interest prompting a more detailed response by ZE PAK’s owner.

Earlier this week, Russian state-owned news agency Tass quoted a Rosatom source as saying that the company “remains open to dialogue with stakeholders” in relation to the Kaliningrad nuclear project.

Rosatom has not officially confirmed the statement. Polish state officials have also restrained from comments on the matter.

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