Polish industrial group Industria has signed a memorandum of intent (MOI) with Rolls-Royce SMR to deploy small modular reactors (SMRs) in Poland. Government-owned Industria, as part of the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Group, is leading efforts to develop a supply chain of parts and modules for SMR production. As a leader of Central Hydrogen Cluster, Industria aims to deploy up to three SMRs to produce 50,000 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen every year. The Rolls-Royce SMR design is a 470 MWe small pressurised water reactor, which the company aims to launch in the UK by 2030.

Rolls-Royce SMR CEO Tom Samson said Poland is a key international market for its factory-built SMR. “This is an important step in our relationship with Industria, he said. It sets out “the basis on which we’ll work together to develop joint plans for using our SMR technology in Poland to decarbonise energy intensive industry and produce clean power for generations to come”.

Poland and the wider region are seeking to decarbonise, while bolstering their energy security, Rolls-Royce SMR noted. It added that its factory-built power solution is perfectly sized to connect to the electricity grid or for off-grid industrial use such as hydrogen production. There are also future opportunities to replace more than 8GW of coal-fired power plants in southern Poland with SMRs throughout the 2030s.

Industria CEO Szczepan Ruman said: “Participation in a supply chain of parts and modules for Rolls-Royce SMR is a great opportunity for our region and for entire industry in southern Poland.”

Through the Central Hydrogen Cluster, “we cooperate with companies from our region as well as from three hydrogen valleys: Lower Silesia, Silesia-Lesser Poland and Subcarpathian”. He added that the initiative has the support of IDA Group with the aim of creating jobs and securing Polish industry’s strong participation in the SMR industry of the future. “Plans for deployment of Rolls-Royce SMR power plants in central and southern Poland will help meet these goals in the 2030s.”

IDA Board President Cezariusz Lesisz said cooperation with Rolls-Royce SMR is a great opportunity to develop a high-tech industrial base for small scale nuclear power in Poland. “Building new competencies of Polish industry is part of a trend of focusing on energy transition and strengthening our country’s energy security and resilience.”

Poland is focusing on nuclear energy as part of its decarbonisation plans and has selected US Westinghouse's AP1000 for the first part of its plan to build up to 9 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2040. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power has agreed a separate plan to construct a NPP in Patnow with Polish companies ZE PAK and Polska Grupa Energetyczna. There are also other SMR projects underway. PKN Orlen is preparing to select sites for up to 79 GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy BWRX-300 SMRs. EDF has signed an agreement with Respect Energy for projects based on its Nuward SMR technology. KGHM Polska Miedz aims to deploy a NuScale VOYGR SMR by 2029.

Image: Alan Woods, Rolls-Royce SMR’s Director of Strategy & Business Development (left), and Szczepan Ruman, CEO of Industria (courtesy of Rolls-Royce SMR)