Energy Nuclear 24 April, 2024 8:00 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Fieldwork begins for the nuclear project in Pomerania with Bechtel and Polish partners from Słupsk


Bechtel inaugurated the fieldwork for the nuclear power plant in Pomerania during an event at its new office in Warsaw. A Polish company from Słupsk will participate in the works.

“In early April Bechtel signed a geological contract with P.S.D. based in Słupsk,” the American company reported. “The research will be conducted from May to November and will cover an area of about 30 hectares. Their results will be used to draft the earthworks for the power plant, including three nuclear units, an inflow pool and cooling water channels. They will also be used to prepare a Location Report, which is the basis for obtaining a construction permit from the State Atomic Energy Agency by the investor, Polskie Elektrowne Jądrowowe,” the press release continued.

The symbolic ceremony of Bechtel’s commencement of fieldwork took place in the company’s new office in Warsaw. The event was attended by representatives of the Polish and American governments, as well as regulatory authorities, scientific institutions and local government reps. Among those present were Maciej Bando, the Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure, Miłosz Motyka, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment and Beata Rutkiewicz, Voivode of Pomerania. The guest of honor was Mark Brzezinski, U.S. Ambassador to Poland.

“The start of preliminary field work for the construction of the nuclear power plant is an important moment for the Polish economy and companies that will participate in the supply chain, as well as for the local community,” said Leszek Hołda, President of Bechtel Polska. “We are pleased that the project has the support of a wide range of stakeholders, and decision-makers, businesses and scientific institutions that speak with one voice about this key investment,” he added.

“Bechtel has been involved in the nuclear industry for 70 years. We have built 150 nuclear power plants worldwide,” said John Howanitz, President, Nuclear, Security & Environmental at Bechtel. “Including us in engineering services on this project was a good decision and we plan to go ahead with the plan,” he added. He declared commitment to the development of business and science related to nuclear energy in Poland.

“We’re opening our office,” Howanitz said. “This office is dedicated to the project in Pomerania, but from a global point of view we will be happy to expand it for the needs of our other projects,” he added.

“This is the first of the smaller, larger steps in the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland,” said Maciej Bando . “I firmly believe that Poland and this first nuclear project will serve as an example of how it is possible to reverse the unfavorable situation of cost escalation and schedule overruns experienced by all investors in recent years,” he added.

“I would like to assure all the stakeholders that the administration will do everything to avoid bureaucratic obstacles and expects contractors to participate and be fully available, timely and stick to costs,” said Maciej Bando. “I hope all residents of the region will not see this investment as an obstacle or barrier to the region’s development. The whole region will benefit from it, we are not only talking about the construction of the power plant, but also the accompanying infrastructure. Let us remember that this is an element of energy security, and therefore of economic security,” he stressed.

“This is about security and strategic cooperation,” said Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment Miłosz Motyka. “There is no fair energy transition in Poland without a nuclear power plant,” he added. He also stressed the importance of trust between Poland and the United States to implement megaprojects together. “This is an opportunity not only for the Polish energy sector, but also for building a new branch of the Polish industry,” Motyka stated.

“These are geological works that will allow us to assess the type of soil and geological conditions we have in order to prepare the project concept properly,” said Jan Chadam, a registered representative (pl. prokurent) of Polish Nuclear Power Plants. “This is the most complicated civil engineering project. Only technical projects are more complicated. It is important to understand the challenge we face,” he added. He stressed the importance of acquiring competence in the nuclear sector in cooperation with the Americans. “We will learn about the soil’s resistance in the event of seismic activity and its electrical resistance. These are many essential elements from the perspective of design,” said Leszek Hołda, President of Bechtel Poland.

The Polish Nuclear Power Program envisages the start of construction at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in 2026 and the commissioning of the first of three reactors in 2033. However, its been announced the Program will be updated.

Bechtel / Wojciech Jakóbik