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Poland gives details of $20 billion nuclear bid – POLITICO

US nuclear technology provider Westinghouse will build Poland’s first reactor by 2033, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday.

“We assume the overall cost is around $20 billion,” he told reporters, adding, “The initial capital investment is significant, but once a nuclear plant is operational, the electricity generation cost is relatively low.

Poland is considering nuclear power to reduce its reliance on coal, which still accounts for around 70% of the country’s energy mix. It also dovetails with an effort to end dependence on Russian coal, oil and gas.

“The need to become permanently independent of energy supplies and energy carriers from Russia is linked to the need to accelerate investments in the construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant,” the government said in a decree approved on Wednesday.

Poland is one of the few central European countries not to have a nuclear sector; an effort to build a power plant in the 1980s was thwarted by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and Poland’s financial difficulties.

Warsaw’s nuclear plans are ambitious. The official strategy assumes the construction of six reactors at two sites by the mid-2040s, but Morawiecki said a third site was not ruled out.

In addition to the government program with Westinghouse, there is a parallel business-led effort with South Korea. Polish utilities ZE PAK and PGE on Monday signed a letter of intent with Korean company KHNP to analyze a power plant to be built in central Poland.

The Westinghouse power station will be built in Choczewo, on the Polish Baltic Sea coast, about 80 kilometers northwest of Gdańsk.

The exact location will be determined once the project has obtained an environmental permit, Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa said at the same briefing.

The goal is to begin construction by 2026 and begin operations in 2033.

Although he outlined the possible scale of the investment, Morawiecki did not provide further details on the financing of what will be one of Poland’s most ambitious infrastructure projects.

“We have secured funding for the current early stages of the project. Most of the money will be needed later and there are several ways to get it,” he said.

If all the power plants in question are built, nuclear energy could supply around 30% of Poland’s energy mix, Moskwa said.

“A strategic partnership with the United States to build the first nuclear power plant is a civilizational leap for us to strengthen energy security,” she added. tweeted.

The three bidders for nuclear projects in Poland were Westinghouse, KHNP and France’s EDF.

Poland also plans to develop offshore wind in the Baltic Sea as well as onshore wind, solar and biomass, which could reduce the share of coal in the country’s energy mix to around 11% to 28%. according to the country’s energy transition strategy.

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