Poland is set to construct several nuclear plants powered by small modular reactors (SMRs), the CEO of Polish energy giant PKN Orlen, Daniel Obajtek, announced on Monday.
At a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, officials representing Orlen Synthos Green Energy (OSGE), a joint venture between Orlen Group and Synthos Green Energy, owned by Michał Sołowow, signed letters of intent with the U.S.’ EXIM Bank and International Development Finance Cooperation (DFC) on funding for the establishment of Poland’s first two nuclear stations that would feature the BWRX-300 small modular reactors.
By the end of the year, 20 locations will be presented to local communities, with the first SMR reactor set to be built between 2028 and 2029. “This energy is 30 percent cheaper than gas-fired power plants,” stressed Obajtek.
“The energy transformation cannot be stopped. We will not stop technology. There is no way to maintain the green energy system without nuclear power,” he added.
The potential SMR locations include the outskirts of Warsaw, Kraków, and Ostrołęka, as well as Włocławek, Stawy Monowskie near Oświęcim, Dąbrowa Górnicza, and the Tarnobrzeg-Stalowa Wola Special Economic Zone. Obajtek explained the potential of these locations would be examined first, followed by a dialogue with local communities. Only after reaching an agreement with local communities would final decisions on investment be made.
The project is supported by U.S funding with U.S. Ambassador Mark Brzezinski announcing that the U.S. EXIM Bank has declared $3 billion (€2.73 billion) for the investment, while $1 billion (€0.91 billion) has been pledged by the DFC for the development of BWRX-300 reactors in Poland. “Poland needs new energy solutions to protect itself from Russian influence, meet climate commitments, and drive economic development,” argued Brzezinski.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who was also present at the ceremony on Monday called it a historic day for Poland, stating that Poland needs a constant, clean, and cheap source of energy that will serve the country for decades. Morawiecki argued that launching one SMR reactor could allow for savings of €100-200 billion in carbon emission allowances.
CEO of Orlen, Daniel Obajtek, stressed that “there are about 300 companies that will be involved in the investment processes.”
Polish banks, including PKO BP, Pekao, BGK, and Santander Bank Polska, have also expressed their interest in participating in the SMR reactor construction project.