Poland needs nuclear power before wind farms - Energy Minister

Everybody wants to carry out offshore wind farm projects but in the first place Poland needs to start building a nuclear power station, it's a matter of credibility with the European Commission, Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski announced on Monday.

"Everyone wants to finance and build offshore wind energy, there is a fashion for it, but in the first place we need to start building a nuclear power station," Tchorzewski told journalists on the sidelines of the All-Poland Energy Summit in Gdansk (northern Poland).

Asked if that meant a nuclear power station is the priority, the energy minister replied: "It is for our credibility with the European Commission."

Tchorzewski went on to indicate that offshore wind energy requires additional solutions. "Firstly, how great will the interest be? Secondly, how do those who want to build want to contribute to the network?"

Asked when a decision could be expected on starting construction of a nuclear power station, Tchorzewski replied: "This year or never."

Meanwhile, Investment and Development Minister Jerzy Kwiecinski told PAP that Poland is ready to finance a nuclear power plant from its own resources, if such a decision is taken.

"We must take a decision on building a nuclear power plant very prudently, based on the best possible analytical research," Kwiecinski told PAP. "Such research is already being finalised at the Ministry of Energy. Considering the very long investment process, characterised by high expenditures and a long project life cycle, capital and debt financing will have to be implemented."

"We have a strong state and strong financial institutions," Kwiecinski continued. "That's why, if such a decision is taken, we are ready to finance it from our own funds. We are also open to working with others and already see great interest from around the world."