US companies Bechtel and Westinghouse Electric Company on 15 July announced that they had formed a team to pursue new nuclear power plant projects in Poland. "Nuclear power holds great promise as a clean and reliable supply of energy for Poland," said Barbara Rusinko, president of Bechtel's Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit. "Poland is taking steps to transition to a clean energy economy while retaining its energy independence and security. The Westinghouse-Bechtel team offers proven technology and hands-on experience in nuclear project delivery and is ready to immediately support Poland's transformative vision."
She added that the best practices developed by both companies will be a great benefit to Polish energy transition. "The pursuit will be informed by actual, on-the-ground experience at active nuclear construction sites and operating plants." This news follows the U.S. Trade and Development Agency announcement on June 30 providing a grant for a front-end engineering design (FEED) for a plant in Poland using proven Westinghouse AP1000 reactors. The FEED is expected to be delivered in 12 months.
Competition is heating up as companies line up to express their interest in Poland’s nuclear development plans. France’s EDF announced on 12 July that it had opened an office in Warsaw in order to prepare a comprehensive proposal for the Polish government concerning the construction of Poland's first NPP. South Korea’s Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power have also expressed interest.
According to the Polish government's Energy Strategy, Poland plans to construct six nuclear power units. In 2033, Poland should launch the reactor generating some 1-1.6 GWe. Subsequent reactors should be constructed every two to three years until the target of six units is reached. The Polish government expects its partner in the nuclear programme to take a 49% share, to provide adequate financing and participate not only in the construction but also in the operation of the plants.