Poland’s Orlen Synthos Green Energy (OSGE) has won bank support to finance its SMR construction plans. BGK, Pekao, PKO BP and Santander Bank Polska have signed a cooperation agreement with OSGE, which aims to ensure finance for plans to construct BWRX-300 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Poland. The signatories of the contract will work together to prepare the optimal financing model for the construction of BWRX-300 reactors and then secure the necessary financing. They recognised that the energy sector in Poland is facing a huge challenge related to ensuring security of energy supply in the face of increasing demand.

In 2021, GE Hitachi (GEH), BWXT Canada and Synthos Green Energy (SGE) signed a Letter of Intent to cooperate in deploying BWRX-300 SMRs in Poland. OSGE – a joint venture between chemical producers SGE and PKN Orlen – applied to Poland's National Atomic Energy Agency in July 2022 for an assessment of the BWRX-300, for which it holds the exclusive right in Poland.

Support from the Polish banks came shortly after the US Export-Import Bank and US International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) suggested they may lend $4bn to OSGE for the SMR project. OSGE signed letters of intent with EXIM Bank for up to $3bn and IDFC for up to $1bn. The aim is to build and deploy the first two of 20 SMRs to be designed by GEH by 2030. OSGE has named seven shortlisted optimum locations for further geological surveys to site SMRs. The locations are: Ostroleka, Wloclawek, Stawy Monowskie, Dabrowa Górnicza, Nowa Huta, Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone and Warsaw.

Jarosław Grodzki, Chairman of the OSGE supervisory board said “The largest banks in Poland have believed in our project and are ready to take part in financing the energy transformation of our country.” According to BGK President Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczki, nuclear, as a stable, safe and weather-independent energy source, is the future of Polish energy. “As a Polish development bank, we want to engage in projects that will increase the energy independence and strategic security of our country, as well as give industry the opportunity to obtain cheap and zero-emission energy, she said.

The President of Pekao Leszek Skiba believes nuclear power is a good answer to the challenge of transformation towards effective and zero-emission technologies. “Bank Pekao, who has the ambition to be a leader in energy transformation in Poland is naturally interested in participating in this venture,” he said.

According to PKO BP Vice President Andrzej Kopyrski, the contract is another step in the bank's development strategy for 2023-2025 that supports Poland's energy independence and the transformation of the Polish economy towards zero-emission. Lech Gałkowski, a member of the management board of Santander Bank Polska, pointed out that the bank is one of the leaders in financing renewable and low-carbon energy, and the agreement is an important step in the development of this area.

Image: Orlen Synthos Green Energy has won bank support to finance its SMR construction plans in Poland (courtesy of Twitter/OSGE)