Westinghouse signs contract with Poland for NPP pre-project work

23 February 2023

State-owned Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ) has signed an agreement with US-based Westinghouse Electric Company to begin work that will lead to preparation of the project to build Poland’s first NPP. The contract covers front-end engineering, early procurement work and programme development.

In September 2021, Poland announced plans to build six large pressurised water reactors with a combined installed capacity of 6-9 GWe by 2040 to reduce its reliance on coal. The construction of the first NPP is expected to start in 2026 for commissioning in 2033. Subsequent units will be implemented every 2-3 years. The coastal towns of Lubiatowo and Kopalino in Poland's Choczewo municipality in Pomerania province of have been short-listed as the preferred location for first plant.

PEJ President Tomasz Stepien said the company faces a very difficult task to build the first NPP in Poland in a relatively short time. PEJ supported the government’s choice of Westinghouse technology, he added, noting that a framework cooperation agreement had been signed in December. “Today we are implementing this milestone, moving from the conceptual phase to the pre-project and preparatory phase. And this year we will sign the first contract for the design of the selected plant.”

The agreement was signed in the presence of Polish Climate Anna Moskva, Polish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pawel Jablonski, Polish Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure Mateusz Berger, and US ambassador Mark Brzezinski. The signatories were PEJ President Tomasz Stepien, Westinghouse Polska President Miroslaw Kowalik and Westinghouse Energy Systems Department head David Durham.

It covers ten main areas. These include developing a detailed investment implementation model; preparing a safety assessment; a quality control programme; and identifying potential suppliers, with an emphasis on Polish companies. The agreement will allow PEJ and Westinghouse to start pre-project work before the executive agreement is agreed. PEJ said it also provides for preparation of the principles for external financing of the project, namely an initial estimate of its value.

Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said: “Today, thinking about 2030, 2031, 2032 and all the subsequent years, we have taken decisions to implement and complete a key project for Poland's energy security, which is the project to build a nuclear power plant in Poland.” She noted that Poland and the USA have significantly strengthened their cooperation in the field of energy security in recent years. She said a further contract for work to implement the project would be signed later in the year.

US ambassador Brzezinski said: “This is a clear and important milestone in our energy security partnership. Although much hard work remains ahead of us, I know that by redoubling our commitments, and by working together, we will deliver the promise of clean, safe, and secure nuclear energy.”

Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse President & CEO said the agreement “enables PEJ and Poland to move forward with deploying the most advanced nuclear technology available to deliver affordable and clean electricity, while reinforcing Poland’s energy security”.

Polish industrial companies are expected to be a key part of the supply chain for the NPP. Westinghouse has already signed agreements with 35 companies in Poland and 75 in the wider region. Westinghouse said it plans to establish a major engineering centre in Poland and is planning additional industrial investments to support training and development.

Image: Signing of the agreement between PEJ and Westinghouse (courtesy of PEJ)

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