GE-Hitachi courts Polish suppliers

27 January 2011

GE-Hitachi (GEH) has signed agreements with two Polish engineering companies to pursue opportunities to supply GEH with locally-produced components for nuclear power plants. 


On 26 January, in the same hall at the Gdansk shipyard where Poland's historic Solidarity agreement was signed, memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed with the Stocznia Gdansk shipyard and boiler equipment manufacturer Rafako.


Danny Roderick, GEH's senior vice president of new plant projects, commented: "These agreements provide the potential for a significant expansion of GEH's global equipment supply chain, underscoring our commitment to deliver new nuclear power plants on a predictable time schedule and on budget while supporting the Polish economy."


In March 2010, Poland's largest power group, Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), signed a cooperation agreement with GEH. The agreement provides for joint activities related to a feasibility study for the development of GEH's advanced reactor designs, the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) and the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), for use in a Polish nuclear power plant. Under the terms of that agreement, GEH will help PGE study the feasibility of building up to four reactors based on one of the two designs. The agreement also covers the potential construction and operation of the reactors.


PGE had earlier signed a similar cooperation agreement with France's EDF providing for joint feasibility studies into the possible construction of Areva's EPR pressurised water reactor design.


Speaking of the new agreement with GEH, Andrzej Stoklosa, chairman of Stocznia Gdansk, said: "The cooperation agreement gives us the possibility of delivering the large steel components for the potential future nuclear power plant construction and is consistent with the development strategy of our company." He added, "Over the past two years, Stocznia Gdansk has been investing significant amounts to create a modern and technologically advanced plant. These investments are made for large production projects and could be used by GEH in the future nuclear project."


"Rafako considers nuclear energy a substantial part of future power generation in Poland," said the company's vice president, Krzysztof Burek. "We have a strong tradition in building components for nuclear projects in other countries and look forward to the opportunity to apply our expertise in project execution, production capabilities, quality assurance and engineering capacity to GEH for potential nuclear projects in Poland."


GEH has previously signed an agreement with global engineering services firm SNC-Lavalin Polska to collaborate on potential projects in Poland. It has also agreed with several Polish universities to train students on nuclear technology and has offered internships for Polish students this summer in the USA.


At the 25 January meeting of the Polish cabinet, regulations were adopted "providing for the establishment of transparent and stable regulatory framework covering the entire investment process involving the construction and operation of nuclear power plants."


A statement from the office of Polish prime minister Donald Tusk said that it is now important to launch a campaign to inform the public about all aspects related to the development of nuclear energy.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News