Japanese interest in Poland's first nuclear plant

06 May 2015

Hitachi, Mitsubishi and Toshiba and other Japanese companies are "very interested" in participating in the construction of Poland's first nuclear power plant, Yosuke Takagi, Japan's deputy economy, trade and industry minister, said yesterday following a meeting with Polish Deputy Treasury Minister Zdzislaw Gawlik.

Poland plans to have nuclear power from about 2025 as part of a diverse energy portfolio, moving it away from heavy dependence on coal and imported gas. The first nuclear plant will be a joint venture of three utilities and a copper miner, all state-owned.

Takagi meets Gawlik - May 2015 - 250 (Polish Treasury Ministry)
Takagi at his meeting with Gawlik yesterday (Image: Dorota Taranowicz, Polish Treasury Ministry)

According to a statement issued by the Polish Treasury Ministry, Takagi said he was confident Japan could "contribute to the smooth implementation" of the project and he gave assurances that his government was ready to offer its support in terms of training and finance, which could include the involvement of Japanese credit agencies.

Gawlik said Poland was "counting on" the participation of Japanese nuclear technology suppliers in an integrated tender for the project to be launched in the second half of this year. By "integrated", he meant the tender will include contracts for all stages of the project, including reactor technology, construction services, fuel supply, strategic partnership and debt financing.

Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) created PGE EJ 1 in 2010 to manage the project and then operate the plant. PGE has since sold shares in PGE EJ 1 to copper miner KGHM Polska Miedź and power utilities Tauron Polska Energia and Enea. PGE has said it aims to have one main contractor, responsible for the nuclear island, conventional island, civil engineering, balance of plant and site civil works, in line with International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines. Final design and permits for the first nuclear power plant are expected to be ready in 2018, allowing construction to start in 2020.

Polish-Japanese cooperation in the energy sector is "developing in an exemplary manner", Gawlik said. Joint projects include expansion of the Kozienice hard coal-fired power plant. That project "could not be carried out on such a huge scale without the cooperation of the Japanese", he said, referring to Enea's contract with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News