Poland is ready to build a third nuclear power station in a location in central Poland, said Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday during a press conference after the meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The news comes after Poland announced earlier this week that its first plant is being constructed by the U.S. company Westinghouse, while the second is likely to be built by South Korea’s KHNP following Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin’s visit to Seoul.
Morawiecki indicated the third plant would be built in central Poland, but the actual location will be decided over the coming months. The news came as a surprise to energy markets and analysts, with the announcement signaling Poland is ready for three major, traditional nuclear energy projects. Commentators speculate that the France’s EDF would be chosen for the third station pending negotiations with Warsaw.
The Polish prime minister said that Poland can no longer rely on Russian fossil fuels and that other imported fossil fuels were increasingly expensive. This is why the country had no choice but to move to nuclear and renewable sources as well as investing in modern technologies.
The prime minister also noted that large Polish state companies such as Orlen, PGE, and KGHM were getting involved in the new generations of smaller, modular nuclear reactors and that the Polish government was interested in facilitating these technological developments.
According to Morawiecki, while the costs of construction are considerable given that the first nuclear power plant will cost $20 billion, the long-term gain of cheaper energy is priceless. Moreover, these projects are beneficial to the environment and will create jobs for Polish workers, engineers, and other specialists.
It is not yet clear how much U.S. capital will flow into the first nuclear station. Morawiecki said it is important that there is some American capital invested in order for there to be increased confidence in the project. Given its long-term nature, the details and type of financing remain flexible at this stage, but Poland has the budget for the early years of work already factored into the government’s financial plans.