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    Nuclear power is an important part of Poland’s transformation path, says Wojciech Dabrowski in Korea

    “The nuclear power plant in the Konin region will provide a stable supply of cheap and clean energy and clean energy, replacing coal sources that are being phased out,” Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, said at the opening of the plenary session entitled “Nuclear energy policy for carbon neutrality and energy security” during the ICAPP international conference held in Gyeongju, Korea. 

    A meeting dedicated to discussing current and future directions and needs of nuclear power development was attended by representatives of the world’s most important nuclear-related companies and institutions, including those from South Korea, the USA, Japan, France, the UK, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates, among others. 

    During the visit to South Korea, President Wojciech Dabrowski also met with Korean partners from KHNP in connection with the implementation of a joint nuclear power plant project in the Konin region. The conversation with Whang Joo – ho, President of KHNP was an opportunity to discuss the next steps in the ongoing project, including the planned feasibility study, site investigation and environmental impact assessment. 

    President Dabrowski informed KHNP about the details of the establishment of the company “PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa S.A.,” which will be a partner for the Korean company. Whang Joo – ho, President of KHNP emphasised that the company attaches very high importance to the Polish-Korean project. More than 100 people from KHNP are already involved in the investment. He added that the company has the full support of the Korean government in realising this investment.

    “Together with the Korean partner, we are implementing a unique nuclear power plant project, which will be of great importance for achieving climate neutrality, environmental protection and, above all, the fight for lower energy prices for consumers,”

    Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna said during the ICAPP conference.

    “Poland’s target energy mix will be based on zero-emission energy sources, i.e., RES and nuclear energy. According to the adopted assumptions, by 2040 the amount of installed capacity of all electricity sources in Poland will double to a level of approx. 130 GW, and RES and nuclear energy will constitute approx. 74% of the installed power and will cover approx. 73 per cent of electricity demand. Part of this energy will be provided by the nuclear power plant in Konin. According to the assumptions, it will provide 22 TWh of energy, which corresponds to 12 per cent of today’s demand,”

    Wojciech Dąbrowski added.

    The project, initiated by PGE and ZE PAK and the Korean KHNP, complements Poland’s plans enshrined in the PPEJ and PEP 2040 regarding the energy transformation in Poland and the use of nuclear power.

    The plans of PGE, ZE PAK and the Korean KHNP tentatively envisage the construction of two nuclear power plant units based on Korean ARP 1400 technology giving a total of 2.8 GW of installed capacity. The Konin region has been selected as the location for this power plant. The area has an existing transmission infrastructure for power output, which places the location as optimal in terms of cost, pace of work and dispersal of generation sources.

    As part of the ICAPP 2023 Conference, Karol Rabenda, Deputy Minister of State Assets, and PGE President Wojciech Dąbrowski met with a delegation from the Korean Ministry of Energy headed by Deputy Minister Cheon Young – ghil.  The talks concerned Polish-Korean economic cooperation, turbulence in global energy markets related to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and nuclear energy. Deputy Minister Cheon Young – ghil confirmed that the Ministry of Energy and the Korean government support the Polish-Korean project. This will be demonstrated by the planned visit of a Korean government delegation to Poland in the coming weeks. One of the main topics will be the joint nuclear project. 

    The visit of the President of the Management Board of PGE Wojciech Dąbrowski to the ICAPP Conference also provided an opportunity for business meetings with representatives of Korean companies, including representatives of the SK Group, which is already investing in Poland by building a copper foil factory in Stalowa Wola. Conversely, talks with representatives of Daewoo E&C and Doosan Heavy Industries concerned the experience of these companies in the construction of nuclear power plants and possible cooperation with the Polish industry in the construction of power plants in Poland. 

    PGE Management Board President Wojciech Dąbrowski and Maciej Stec, Vice President of PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa S.A., also met with Korean journalists.  President Wojciech Dąbrowski said that Poland and Korea are separated by more than 7,000 kilometres, but they have a lot in common. 

    “This is reflected in the rapidly developing economic, military and now also energy cooperation. It can be said that Polish-Korean cooperation is flourishing,”

    he added. 

    “In April 2023, PGE and ZE PAK established the special purpose company PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa, which will represent the Polish side in the project. Also, this company will sign an agreement with the Korean side and together they will build a power plant in the Konin region. We hope that the Korean side will take a 49 per cent stake in the planned Polish-Korean company,”

    President Dabrowski stressed. 

    This year, the ICAPP International Congress was held in conjunction with the 38th Annual Korean Nuclear Energy Conference and the INEX (International Nuclear Energy Expo). On the first day of the conference, Karol Rabenda, Deputy Minister of State Assets, Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of the PGE Management Board, and Maciej Stec, Vice President of the Management Board of PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa S.A., took part in the opening ceremony of the INEX fair. 

    INEX – is the largest and oldest nuclear industry exhibition in Korea. Since 1985, the exhibition has been held annually to raise domestic and international awareness of nuclear power, develop relevant industries and suppliers, exploring opportunities for international cooperation.

    The ICAPP Congress is a meeting place for nuclear power industry leaders to exchange information, present work results, review the state of the industry and discuss future directions and needs for the implementation of new power plant systems around the world. This year it is being held from 24 – 27 April in Gyeongju, Korea. 

    Its theme is Nuclear – Big Steps Forward to Secure Clean Future. The event is organised by the Korean Nuclear Society.

    So far, PGE, ZE PAK and KHNP have signed a letter of intent to build a nuclear power plant in Seoul in October 2022. This was followed, in less than four months, by the preparation of a preliminary plan to build a nuclear power plant based on the Korean APR1400 technology, which was supplemented with additional proposals and assumptions after analysis. This process culminated in PGE and ZE PAK signing an agreement to establish a special purpose vehicle to represent the Polish partners in their relations with KHNP in the ongoing investment and applying to the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection for approval of the concentration. Once the relevant approval was obtained, PGE PAK Energetyka Jądrowa was established, in which both companies hold 50% of the shares each. PGE PAK Energetyka Jądrowa will be in charge of carrying out location and environmental studies, obtaining financing and preparing, together with the Korean side, a detailed investment schedule, and in subsequent stages, also obtaining permits and administrative decisions. This will be followed by the establishment of a company formed by PGE PAK Energetyka Jądrowa and KHNP, which will be responsible for the construction of the power plant. According to the agreed arrangements, the Polish company will take a majority stake in it, which will ensure that the Polish side, including the State Treasury represented by PGE, has a say in the key energy infrastructure of the country. Electricity from the first unit could flow in 2035.

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