France’s EDF has signed five cooperation agreements with Polish companies in the nuclear energy sector during the 5th Polish-French nuclear industry day. Agreements were signed by EDF with Uniserv, Telefonika Kable, Polimex Mostostal, Sefako and ZRE Katowice. In addition, Budimex signed an agreement with Bouygues TP.
Poland plans to deploy up to six reactors totalling up to 9.000MWe at multiple sites by 2040. The Polish Energy Policy to 2040 assumes that the first unit with a capacity of between 100MWe and 1600MWe will begin operation in 2033. The next units will be implemented every two or three years. US, French and South Korean companies have all expressed interest in supplying the plants.
EDF vice president Vakis Ramany stressed that the French offer to build EPR reactors for the Polish nuclear programme has the strong support of the French government. "We want Poland to be part of the EDF strategy and the European supply chain," he emphasised.
The meeting organised EDF, the Economic Chamber of Energy and Environmental Protection and the trade association of the French nuclear industry Gifen, was attended by representatives of almost 100 companies: 71 Polish and 23 French.
Ramany said EDF's strategy envisages the construction of a smaller version of the EPR reactor - with a capacity of 1,200MWe instead of 1,650MWe - and an even smaller NUWARD reactor with a capacity of 340MWe. In this way, it will be better to adapt to customer requirements he added, noting that such an approach may also mobilise the development of the European supply chain.
Andrzej Sidlo from the Department of Nuclear Energy of the Ministry of Climate and Environment recalled that Polish companies participated in and are participating in many nuclear projects with France. For example, Polish equipment is found in French Arabelle tubine generators installed at the Turkish Akkuyu power plant built by Rosatom. Polish subcontractors of Alstom, and currently GE, have worked and are working in power plants in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
In October 2021, EDF submitted to the Polish government an initial, non-binding offer for a contract covering engineering, procurement and construction of 4-6 EPR reactors with an installed capacity of 6.6 to 9.9 GWe in 2-3 locations.
The director of the Polish office of EDF, Thierry Deschaux, said that the choice of the EPR reactor would be beneficial for the Polish industry. EDF has already completed 16 of 30 planned visits to Poland for this year. The delegations are intended to pre-qualify companies for future cooperation.