South Korea and Poland have signed an agreement to develop a private nuclear power plant in Poland, South Korea’s Industry Ministry said on Monday.
The state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), Polish energy group ZE PAK, and state-owned power company PGE signed a letter of intent in Seoul and said they will come up with a preliminary development plan for the construction by the end of this year.
The document was signed by Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Assets Jacek Sasin and South Korea’s Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-Yang. The governments of both countries have declared their support for the investment.
“The construction of the nuclear power plant will support the country's key nuclear energy program,” said Sasin.
Last week the US’ Westinghouse Electric beat out KHNP on a deal for a first nuclear plant, but the deal announced Monday is for a second plant out of a projected six.
“Ultimately, the project should increase the competitiveness of the Polish economy, create new investment opportunities in Poland, but above all for the next 60 years provide Polish households with cheap and clean energy at a stable price,” PGE said in a statement.
The private plant would use Korean APR 1400 reactors. The Koreans have reportedly promised to transfer technology, which the Americans were reportedly cautious of doing.
Under the plan, the Patnow thermal power plant in central Poland is slated to shut down in late 2024.
Zygmunt Solorz, the owner of ZE PAK and Poland's richest man, has reportedly pushed the government to work with KHNP.
Nuclear power is a critical part of Poland's plan to reduce dependence on Russian energy, in particular gas.
Poland recently heightened cooperation with South Korea, signing a framework agreement to buy 288 Korean-made K239 Chunmoo self-propelled multiple rocket launchers.