Poland’s Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski said that three out of four major investors will not take part in a project aimed at building the first nuclear power plant in Poland.
In 2010, PGE, the largest Polish power group, created a separate company PGE EJ1 aimed at preparing and implementing the country’s first nuclear power plant project. The power plant was supposed to generate 3750 MWe of energy.
In 2014 the previous government put together an agreement stipulating that three other major Polish companies with a large government stake will buy 30% of shares in the PGE EJ1 company was signed. ENEA , KGHM Polish Copper and Tauron each own 10% of PGE EJ1 shares. The agreement also proposed that the investors will share the costs of the sub-projects needed to create a power plant.
“Looking at the issue from the financial standpoint I have to withdraw Tauron and KGHM. Their declaration to take from the 10% shares would require a commitment of EUR 200 million. KGHM has issues with its offshore assets and Tauron is currently working on a large investment in Jaworzno (Silesia). Only for that reason I have to find somebody else,” Mr. Tchórzewski said. The Energy Minister continued to explain that ENEA would also like to withdraw from the project, due to the company’s other investments.
There have been rumours that PGE which lately has expressed its interest in investing in a wind project in the Baltic (following the example of Polenergia and Statoil double) will no longer play a leading role in the nuclear project.
Earlier today, during his talk at the European Economic Congress the Minister was quoted as saying “ there has to be a strategic investor who will pull this initiative off. I am currently involved in the talks on the issue”
Asked about the details, the Minister said that he would like PGE to maintain its leading role, and buffed off the claims that PKN Orlen, Poland’s largest oil refiner could be the project’s new leader.
The increased willingness to invest in sources other than coal is a major change in Poland’s energy policy. The emissions from coal-fired power plants, still the biggest source of energy in the country, make the country one of the EU’s worst polluters.
The government, which initially aimed to protect the coal mining industry and the 80,000-plus jobs it creates, recently had to look for alternatives in order to meet European Union emissions limits.