Korea signs nuclear reactor MOU & LOI with Poland

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on October 31 that it signed an MOU with the Polish Ministry of State Assets, and a letter of intent (LOI) was also signed between Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) and Poland’s ZE PAK (private energy company) and PGE (state-owned public power company).

ZE PAK, PGE and KHNP will appraise the feasibility of an APR-1400 (Advanced Power Reactor 1400 MW electricity) project in Patnow, central Poland.

The MOU signed by the two countries’ Ministers contains the agreement to support the construction process and information sharing on a regular basis.

This project aims to secure a stable source of affordable and clean energy, which will enhance the independence and stability of Poland’s energy system and ultimately, expand the Polish economy’s competitiveness and investment opportunities. It is a new attempt to supplement the initial state-led nuclear power program under the Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 (PEP2040), and is expected to power Polish homes with low-cost, clean energy over the next 60 years.

ZE PAK and PGE’s decision to collaborate with KHNP stems from observing how KHNP has been a stable supplier of power over the last four decades through its sturdy operation of nuclear reactors. KHNP is one of the world’s top three nuclear reactor operators and has successfully completed the United Arab Emirates’ Barakah nuclear power plant on time and on budget, a project assessed to be among some of the largest global investments.

The three companies will be working in tandem to draw up plans for their nuclear reactor project, using South Korean APR-1400 technology. They will execute site investigations on its geotechnical, earthquake resistance and environment qualifications, and a mutually proposed financing model will define the budget per construction phase. Milestones will lay out the course of project execution, and a masterplan including all of the above is to be established by the end of this year.

Poland’s Minister of State Assets Jacek Sasin stated that “Poland is in need of a low-cost and stable source of energy, all the more essential considering the current situation and geopolitical conditions.” He relayed that “it is great news that negotiations have begun between ZE PAK, PGE and KHNP, and that this will strengthen Korea-Poland ties,” adding that “it is a good opportunity for Poland to learn some of Korea’s knowledge and experience.”

MOTIE’s Minister Lee Chang-yang stated that “this project is an achievement enabled by the Yoon administration’s policies and strong push for nuclear reactor exports.” He noted that “once the final contract is sealed, this deal will also create new jobs across the nuclear industry and stimulate the domestic nuclear power plant ecosystem,” and revealed future plans for “further bilateral cooperation in diverse areas like defense, batteries, hydrogen and electric vehicles.”

KHNP President Hwang Ju-ho stated that “KHNP has more than 50 years of nuclear reactor construction experience and 40 years of operation, proving that it is a reliable global energy leader, currently operating 24 reactors.” He indicated that ZE PAK’s request for KHNP’s cooperation shows that Korea’s technology and nuclear industry competitiveness has secured a strong position in the global nuclear reactor market.

ZE PAK Chairman Zygmunt Solorz expressed that he was “happy to announce the partnership between world-leading KHNP and Poland’s largest power corporation PGE.” He assured that the project will “be a great investment for the Polish economy and a source of tax revenues for the nation and local region.”

PGE President Wojciech Dąbrowski claimed that “Poland must invest in large-scale nuclear power in order to replace the coal-centered conventional energy sources,” and that “it is ever more important in view of the global energy crisis and fossil fuel market limitations.” He noted that PGE provides for nearly 40 percent of Poland’s total area.

The three companies shared the common goal of supplying clean and affordable electricity within a short period, for which they will make all efforts to optimize expected investment and operation costs.

Source: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

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