EDF has submitted a non-binding preliminary offer to the Polish government for the supply contract of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) activities for four to six EPR reactors in Poland, representing a total installed capacity of 6.6 to 9.9GWe across two to three sites.
EDF said this preliminary offer covers all key parameters of the programme such as plant configuration, industrial scheme, plans for the development of the local supply chain, cost estimate and schedule.
The offer aims at meeting the objectives of the Polish Nuclear Power Programme (PPEJ) adopted by the Polish government in October 2020. It aims at setting the principles for a Polish-French strategic partnership framework in support of Poland’s ambitious energy transition plan, aligned with the European carbon neutrality target.
“This EPR-based nuclear programme would bring numerous benefits to the Polish economy, contributing to the country’s energy independence, providing electricity for at least 60 years and satisfying up to 40% of the Polish current electricity demand. It would significantly contribute to the path towards net-zero by avoiding up to 55 million tons of CO2 emissions1 per year, thanks to a safe, reliable, dispatchable and CO2-free energy source,” said EDF.
The programme would also benefit from significant synergies with other EPR projects across Europe, in the spirit of a long-term European partnership between the Polish and French nuclear industries. EDF said it is committed to partner for the Polish Nuclear Power Programme since its inception, with the full support of the French government.
Currently two EPR units are under construction in Europe – Flamanville-3 in France and Olkiluoto-3 in Finland –both facing significant delays and cost overruns. Another two are being built at Hinkley Point C in England. In January, EDF said the cost of Hinkley Point C is expected to rise by up to GBP500 million with commercial operation of the first unit delayed by about six months. There are also plans for two new EPRs at Sizewell C in England.
Taishan-1 in China was the first EPR unit to begin commercial operation, in December 2018. A second EPR at Taishan began commercial operation in September 2019. In April 2021, EDF said it had made a binding offer to build six EPR units at the Jaitapur site in the Maharashtra region of western India.
Poland wants to build from 6000 to 9000MW of installed nuclear capacity based on proven, large-scale, pressurised water nuclear reactors of the Generation III and III+ design. Commercial operation of a first nuclear reactor unit in a proposed set of six is earmarked for 2033. The government has not yet announced a technology or investor tender for the project. US-based Westinghouse and South Korea have also expressed interest in Poland’s nuclear plans.
In July 2021, EDF opened an office in Warsaw to support the preparation of a nuclear offer tailored to meet Poland’s nuclear plans.
In September, Westinghouse opened a global shared services centre in Krakow, where about 160 staff will work to support the company’s global operations and to provide Poland with “the best technology to support its climate change goals and secure the energy needs of its economy”. The new centre was one of the projects agreed under a Polish-American intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2020.