GE Steam Power joins Polish AP1000 team

25 February 2022

Bechtel and Westinghouse have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GE Steam Power to explore opportunities in their joint pursuit of civil nuclear power prospects in Poland.

GE Steam Power's Arabelle nuclear steam turbine (Image: GE Steam Power)

In July last year, Westinghouse announced the launch of front-end engineering and design (FEED) work under a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency "to progress" the nuclear energy programme in Poland. Westinghouse said the FEED was one of the key elements in the implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement between Poland and the USA regarding cooperation to develop a civil nuclear power programme.

Westinghouse is executing the FEED - which will be based on AP1000 technology - together with Bechtel. The FEED study will be reviewed later this year by the Polish government to help in its selection of the best partner for the nuclear power plant programme.

"Poland is taking visionary steps to transition to a clean energy economy while retaining its energy independence and security," said 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."

"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 centre in Krakow," said Elias Gedeon, senior vice-president of commercial operations at Westinghouse Energy Systems. "We look forward to working with GE Steam Power to explore joint pursuit on this important project."

"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," said Frederic Wiscart, nuclear new build leader at GE Steam Power. "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."

In January, Westinghouse signed MoUs with ten Polish companies for cooperation on the potential deployment of AP1000 nuclear power plants in Poland and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe. The agreements are for cooperation with engineering and construction firms Rafako, KB Pomorze and Polimex Mostostal; steel companies ZKS Ferrum, Mostostal Kraków, OMIS and Zarmen Group; shipbuilder GP Baltic; power generator manufacturer Fogo; and crane manufacturer Protea Group.

The diplomatic notes Poland and the USA exchanged in 2020 on cooperation in the development of Poland's civil nuclear power programme officially entered into force in March 2021. This means the USA has 18 months from that date to prepare both a technology and a financing offer to build nuclear power plants in Poland.

Poland's Energy Policy for 2040 is based on three pillars: a just transition; a zero-emission energy system; and good air quality. The first 1-1.6 GWe nuclear unit is to be commissioned in 2033, with five more units, or 6-9 GWe, to follow by 2040. The seaside towns of Lubiatowo and Kopalino in Poland's Choczewo municipality have been named as the preferred location for the country's first large nuclear power plant.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News