Polish nuclear joint venture gets antitrust approval

10 October 2014

Poland's Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) has approved the formation of a joint venture between three utilities and a mining company to build the country’s first nuclear power plant.

In July 2012 copper miner KGHM Polska Miedź and power utilities Tauron Polska Energia and Enea, which are 31.8%, 30% and 51.5% state-owned, respectively, agreed to take minority stakes in the $10.3-11.3 billion project with Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE).

PGE created the project company, PGE EJ 1, in January 2010 and aims to sell 10% stakes to Tauron, Enea and KGHM Polska Miedź. This plan would not impede competition in the power generation and distribution market, OCCP said yesterday.

As the planned nuclear power plant will account for 7% of Poland's power supply, a significant increase in PGE, Tauron and Enea's individual market positions is unlikely and they will in any case produce electricity from other forms of energy independently of each other, OCCP said.

According to Poland's antitrust regulations the transaction must be completed within two years of its approval.

Amec Nuclear UK said in July it had been selected as technical adviser to support PGE EJ1 during the development and execution of the nuclear new-build project. Amec will support PGE EJ1 in meeting the requirements of the yet-to-be-selected reactor vendor and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor and other key service providers.

Poland's energy policy plans include operating nuclear power plants from about 2025 as it moves away from its current heavy dependence on coal and imported gas. PGE plans to install around 3000 MWe of nuclear capacity at one of three potential sites, with the first unit coming online by 2025.

Public support for the construction of Poland's first nuclear power plant stands at 64%, according to a report published last month by the Polish Institute of International Affairs. Of the 64% supporting Polish plans for a nuclear power plant, 57% cited its potential for providing increased energy independence for the country as a reason for their support. Economic benefits were less frequently cited: 42% of pro-build respondents cited employment opportunities, while 26% and 24% respectively cited technological progress or the involvement of Polish companies in the project.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Filed under: New build, Energy policy, Poland