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Westinghouse CEO Patrick Fragman: A Korean power plant in Poland will never be built

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We are in a legal dispute with KHNP. I cannot imagine a situation in which a country such as Poland, which implements the rule of law, could consider an offer that violates intellectual property rights. For us, the Korean project remains virtual. In our opinion, a Korean power plant in Poland will never be built, said Westinghouse CEO Patrick Fragman, quoted by the industry portal Energetyka24.

In December 2022, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe signed a cooperation agreement with the American company Westinghouse Electric Company, whose AP1000 technology was selected by the Polish government for the first nuclear power plant in Poland. The power plant is to be built in Pomerania.

Two weeks ago, PGE and ZE PAK announced the establishment of a company called PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa, which, together with the Korean concern KHNP, will build a nuclear power plant in the Konin area. Ultimately, the power plant is to provide approx. 10 percent. domestic electricity.

Dispute with Korean KHNP

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Westinghouse is in a legal dispute with Korea’s KHNP over the Koreans’ ability to export nuclear technology they once bought from a US company. KHNP together with PGE and a company owned by billionaire Zygmunt Solorz ZE PAK plans to build a nuclear power plant in Pątnów. As noted by Patrick Fragman, in addition to the lawsuit against KHNP, which is being dealt with by the American court, the company filed a lawsuit in the court in South Korea.

– We take the position that the export by a Korean company of nuclear technology without the consent of Westinghouse and the government USA would be a violation of international law and US regulations,” Fragman told reporters.

– For us, the Korean project remains virtual. In our opinion, a Korean power plant in Poland will never be built, said the president of Westinghouse, quoted by Energetyka24.

Fragman also stressed that the dispute did not close the way to cooperation with Korean companies. – We have cooperated with many in the past and will cooperate in the future. It’s not that if we have a dispute in one area, we can’t work in another. In one place we have a difference of opinion, in others we continue to cooperate – he explained.

Nuclear power plant in Poland

Westinghouse expects the final investment decision on the nuclear power plant in Pomerania in 2025. – We expect the final investment decision (FID) in 2025, the start of construction works about 18 months later, i.e. in 2026-2027, and the completion of construction and assembly works in 2032 – Fragman told reporters. He added that in such a test start scenario, the first nuclear unit would be commissioned in 2033, and commissioned at the end of 2033.

According to the president of Westinghouse, the project is at most a few weeks behind schedule, which can be made up for in the long term. – We create a supply chain. We could still speed up in some areas, but we’re still happy with the pace. In our opinion, the entire project will run according to schedule, Fragman noted.

In the second half of 2023, Westinghouse expects the client, i.e. Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe, to sign a contract for design services, the so-called Engineering Service Contract with a consortium that the American company will form with Bechtel. This is a contract for design work for a power plant in Pomerania.

– This is in line with the approach we have taken throughout the project. The philosophy of such projects is not to sign one big contract at the beginning, but to take the next steps and gradually promote the project, moving forward – explained the president of Westinghouse.

Interest in a second location

He added that the company is working to ensure that its technology was chosen for the second location indicated by the Polish government. The government declares that it will indicate the location and technology this year.

– Everyone in the industry is well aware that two different technologies for these two locations are inefficient from the point of view of synergies, supply chains, human resources and economics. Therefore, we hope that in a few months the Polish government will choose the AP1000 technology also for the second location – stressed Fragman.

He added that the offer of the American, Westinghouse and Bechtel, which was accepted by the Polish government, includes certain financial solutions, offered, among others, by by American EXIM Bank. – Generally, it is a typical financial package that accompanies this type of projects, in line with the OECD guidelines on financing projects in the economy, including nuclear power plants – he explained.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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