Three U.S. firms partner to support Polish energy transition

February 25, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

Bechtel and Westinghouse Electric Company on February 23 announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with GE Steam Power to explore opportunities in their joint pursuit of civil nuclear power projects in Poland.

The preferred site for Poland’s initial foray into nuclear power, chosen last December, is Lubiatowo-Kopalino, near the Baltic coast. Bechtel and Westinghouse are preparing a front-end engineering design for the site, supported by a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency.

What they’re saying: “Poland is taking visionary steps to transition to a clean energy economy while retaining its energy independence and security,” stated Ahmet Tokpinar, operations manager of Bechtel’s nuclear power business line. “The cooperation with GE Steam Power, along with future additions from the Polish supply chain, will form a team with local talent and proven, hands-on experience in nuclear project delivery.”

Elias Gedeon, senior vice president of commercial operations for Westinghouse Energy Systems, said, “Westinghouse is well-positioned to help Poland meet its energy goals through our proven AP1000 technology, our in-country investments for local manufacturing, and our global shared services center in Krakow.”

Frédéric Wiscart, nuclear new-build leader for GE Steam Power, added: “As one of the most dependable sources of carbon-free power generation providing around-the-clock energy supply, nuclear energy is a critical pillar for today’s energy transition. GE is a long-standing partner to the Polish energy industry, and we look forward to offering our decades of technological expertise in turbine-island design and installation to Bechtel and Westinghouse.”

Background: Last February, Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment announced the official adoption of the Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 (PEP2040), originally published in draft form in November 2018 and revised the following year.

In its announcement, the ministry described PEP2040 as “a clear vision of Poland’s energy transformation strategy” and “a compass for entrepreneurs, local governments, and citizens in the transformation of the Polish economy toward low emission.” By 2040, the document states, more than half of Poland’s installed capacity will be zero-emission sources, adding that offshore wind energy and nuclear energy “will play a special role” in reaching that goal.

PEP2040 contains eight specific objectives, one of which is the implementation of nuclear power. According to the document, Poland will launch its first nuclear power reactor, with a capacity of 1.0 to 1.6 GW, in 2033. Additional units are to follow every two to three years after that. The nuclear program envisions the construction of six units by 2043.

In October 2021, Bechtel and Westinghouse held a supply chain symposium in Warsaw, drawing approximately 200 Polish business leaders.

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