Energy 14 September, 2023 7:35 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Polish Briefing: Progress at Climate Ministry on Poland’s atomic project I Design agreement with Westinghouse in September? I China may block US access to Polish port

Elektrownia-z-reaktorami-BWRX-300 A power plant with BWRX-300 reactors. Visualization by GE Hitachi

What goes in Poland on 14th of September.

Climate Ministry examines decisions-in-principle for nuclear projects at 10 locations

The information revealed by Vice-Minister Adam Guibourgé – Czetwertyński shows that the Ministry of Climate and Environment is in the process of starting proceedings to issue decisions-in-principle for 10 locations for NPPs. It has already issued decisions for 2 NPPs.

As of September 6, 2023, the Climate Ministry has been conducting proceedings for the issuance of decisions-in-principle initiated on the basis of applications submitted by the following entities:

  • 6 Special Purpose Vehicles Orlen Synthos Green Energy (BWRX-300 reactor in Dąbrowa Górnicza, Nowa Huta, Ostrołęka, Stalowa Wola, Stawy Monowskie and Włocławek) appointed to build nuclear power plants. These companies plan to invest using technology from GE-Hitachi ;
  • Last Energy Polska SPV 1 for investments consisting in the construction of nuclear power plants using PWR-20 reactor technology from Last Energy in Jaworzno, Częstochowa, Jawor, Silesian Voivodeship ;
  • PGE PAK Nuclear Energy for an investment consisting in the construction of a nuclear power plant using the APR1400 reactor technology from the Korean Electric Power Company (KEPCO) in the municipality of Konin and the municipality of Kazimierz Biskupi, in the Greater Poland Voivodeship.

At the same time, it was reported that the Minister of Climate and Environment has issued decision-in-principle on the applications submitted by the following entities:

  • Polish Nuclear Power Plants for an investment consisting in the construction of a nuclear power plant using Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology in the Choczewo commune, Pomeranian Voivodeship;
  • KGHM Polska Miedź for an investment consisting in the construction of a nuclear power plant using NuScale’S VOYGR reactor technology (preferred technology) in the commune of Lubasz and the commune of Wieleń, in the Greater Poland Voivodeship.

Importantly, the decision-in-principle proves that a state offers political support for a specific investment and agrees it is in line with the public interest, as well as the goals of state policies, it also assesses the impact of the investment on the country’s internal security.

Once an investor obtains such a decision, they can apply for a decision on locating the NPP, as well as other decisions necessary to prepare, implement and use that investment (including a construction permit).

The decision-in-principle does not determine the specific location of the investment, because these issues will be regulated in detail by a location decision, which is issued by the voivode once the investor obtains decisions on environmental impact of the investment and meets other requirements as stipulated in the law.

Ministry of Climate and Environment / Jacek Perzyński

The design agreement on American NPP in Poland may be inked in September

“In September, a project agreement may be signed between PEJ, Westinghouse and Bechtel on the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland,” said Philippe Bordarier, Chief Nuclear Officer at Polish Nuclear Power Plants (PEJ), during the 1st Nuclear Power Industry Congress in Kraków.

According to government officials, the last elements of the project agreement with Bechtel and Westinghouse for engineering work on the nuclear power plant project in Pomerania will be discussed in September. Currently the government’s Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska is in the United States with representatives of Polish Nuclear Power Plants, where she is discussing the details of the agreement.

During the event in Kraków, asked Philippe Bordarier about the progress in the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland.

“In recent months, we have been constantly developing and improving the plan for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland. The first step is to obtain all permits and licenses, but we must not forget about safety,” Bordarier said. “We recently received environmental approval, which was preceded by extensive consultations with local authorities and studies on the potential impact of the plant on the environment,” he added.

“In addition, we have also completed cross-border consultations and in the coming months we should receive a final response from Poland’s neighbors, which will bring us closer to the process of starting construction. We also sent an application to the local government for permission to start construction of the power plant,” he said

“We are now ready to start discussions on technical issues with international organizations. Moreover, we are in talks about obtaining safety certificates for the AP1000 reactor,” said Philippe Bordarier. asked how long it would all take. “Nuclear energy places a huge emphasis on safety and environmental issues, so the whole process takes time. However, I would like to point out that our works are already advanced. In the coming years, we will also discuss security with the relevant authorities that deal with nuclear energy,” he stressed.

When asked when Polish Nuclear Power Plants would publish a detailed schedule, Philippe Bordarier said that PEJ was currently talking with technology suppliers and finalizing the details of the agreement. In addition, he noted that there was a high probability that the real deadline for signing the project agreement was September of this year, after which “the clock will start ticking” and the construction schedule will be updated.

“I believe that the start date for the construction of the power plant in 2026 is realistic,” he stressed.

Bordarier added that PEJ is also in talks with Polish companies that will develop all the necessary road infrastructure needed for the operation of the nuclear power plant.  He was also asked about his work on the second power plant. He replied that the company was currently focusing on the first location in Pomerania, but the company still had a plan to develop a second nuclear project.

“I think at a later time there will be additional information on the second nuclear power plant,” he added.

Nuclear power is to be the future foundation of the Polish electricity system. PEJ, Westinghouse and Bechtel want to build three AP1000 reactors with the first one ready in 2033 at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in Pomerania. In addition, KHNP, PGE and ZE PAK want to build two APR1400S by 2036 in Pątnów, in Greater Poland.

Jacek Perzyński

The Chinese may block Americans from accessing a Polish port. The Gdyńkong dispute continues

The Gazeta Polska  daily reports that a Chinese company that manages part of the waterfront of the Seaport in Gdynia refused access to an American ship, delaying the transshipment of equipment during a visit of congressmen to this port. The incident was resolved, but the problem remained.

Gdynia receives NATO military transports and supplies to Ukraine that is fighting against the Russian invasion. The Gazeta Polska daily has established that on August 7, the Cape Ducato ship arrived in the Port of Gdynia to take military equipment. However, before the ship entered the port, an incident occurred. The company controlled by China’s Hutchinson did not agree to mooring on its territory. Then it agreed for a fee, which, according to Gazeta Polska’s interlocutors, was exorbitantly high on purpose. The problem was solved before Cape Ducato entered the port. It is only now that news about this has reached the media.

The Gdynia Container Terminal has been owned by the Chinese company CH Hutchinson since 2005. It is located close to the Baltic Container Terminal (BCT) belonging to the Philippine ICTSI known for cooperation with the US fleet thanks to NATO certification. In the past, there was a possibility that the Chinese would take over the BCT and increase their presence in Gdynia, threatening the Polish Navy port located on the other bank. The Cape Ducato eventually docked with the Filipinos.

The incident occurred during a visit by US congressmen to the Port of Gdynia. It was visited by Seth Moulton, Doug Lamborn and Nancy Mace. Gazeta Polska’s interlocutors warn that the actions of the Chinese could have been a form of demonstration during the visit of the Americans. They are afraid of further incidents of this kind. They could jeopardize cooperation between Poland and the United States and within NATO.

Gazeta Polska / Wojciech Jakóbik