Synthos, a chemical group owned by Poland’s richest man Michal Solowow, has agreed to work with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy on developing technology for a small modular reactor (SMR), Hitachi said in late October.
Poland still generates most of its electricity from coal but more and more companies are exploring low-carbon options.
“Utilizing small modular reactors to generate clean energy will improve our chances to move away from coal and have a positive impact on our industry and nation,” Solowow was quoted as saying.
Polish financial newspaper Puls Biznesu quoted Solowow saying the Synthos and GE Hitachi joint project to build a 300 megawatts (MW) SMR unit will be completed in the next 10 years with capital spending expected at below $1 billion.
Synthos was not immediately available to comment.
Small modular reactors use existing or new nuclear technology scaled down to a fraction of the size of larger plants and would be able to produce around a tenth of the electricity created by large-scale projects.
Poland plans to build its first traditional nuclear power plant over the next 20 years but is struggling to work out a financing model for the project. Some government officials were quoted as saying earlier this year that Poland could also develop small modular reactors, but a specific plan has not so far been set out.
Warsaw faces increased pressure from the European Union to cut carbon emissions, but argues that phasing out coal cannot be done overnight.
“Small modular reactors can play a significant role in addressing Poland’s energy challenges, the modernization of the nation’s energy sector and in achieving necessary and responsible deep decarbonization,” Solowow said in the statement.