Poland signs deal for design of first nuclear power station

The contract was signed at a special ceremony in Warsaw attended by Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, and US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski. Piotr Nowak/PAP

The Polish Nuclear Power Stations (PEJ) company signed an agreement on Wednesday with the Westinghouse-Bechtel consortium for the design of the country's first nuclear power plant.

The contract was signed at a special ceremony in Warsaw attended by Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, and US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski.

Poland has decided to make nuclear power a cornerstone in its transition to a carbon-free source of energy. Nuclear should also diminish the country's dependency on foreign sources of fuel.

The Engineering Service Contract for the 3,750 MWe plant to be built in northern Poland was signed by PEJ CEO Mateusz Berger, Westinghouse CEO Patrick Fragman and John Howanitz of Bechtel.

The deal covers a timescale of 18 months, during which over 400 reports and studies are to be produced. The agreement also foresees the design of supply chains, support for the investment process and preparation of the necessary documentation to secure a building permit.

Berger said the deal was his company's main objective for this year.

"We are finishing the planning stage and starting the design phase," he said.

In December 2021, the 100-percent State Treasury-owned PEJ named the site of Poland's first nuclear power plant as Lubiatowo-Kopalino in the coastal Pomeranian province. The plant is to be developed using Westinghouse's AP1000 technology and be comprised of three blocks. Construction is scheduled to commence in 2026 with the first block set to start producing electricity in 2033.

The project's estimated budget is over PLN 100 billion (EUR 21.60 billion). On September 22, the General Directorate for Environmental Protection ruled in favour of the plant's construction and use.

Ambassador Brzezinski described the agreement as an important step in implementing Polish-American cooperation in civilian nuclear energy, adding that it was not only a commercial undertaking but also strategic for Poland's energy industry. 

Mateusz Morawiecki took to Facebook to announce the deal.

"In the name of the Law and Justice government I signed today with our American partners a contract on the construction of the first Polish nuclear power station," he posted. "It has a historic dimension and marks the start of a new energy era in Poland. It also strengthens Polish security and our cooperation with the USA."

The prime minister went on to say that the development of nuclear power secures stability for Poland's energy system, which he said was being based on green energy sources, reducing the country's dependence on imported oil and gas.

"It's a breakthrough and a revolution!" he wrote. "Never again oil and gas from Russia!" 

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