Poland’s two largest private entrepreneurs, Zygmunt Solorz and Michał Sołowow have decided to launch a joint project to build a nuclear power plant (NPP) in Pątnów, a site which has been generating electricity from lignite for several decades.
The Pątnów power plant is owned by electric services company ZE PAK which plans to invest in 4 to 6 SMR-type reactors with a capacity of 300 megawatts (MW) each.
The NPP will operate on the basis of the so-called Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). This joint action by the two entrepreneurs may help Poland in its energy transition from dirty to green energy and provide Polish citizens with clean and cheap energy.
“We need cheap and clean energy to develop as a State and society,” said Zygmunt Solorz. “Atom is a clean and ecological source of energy and this project brought us together with Michał. A common goal, that is a clean and competitive Poland, is worth taking up the challenge and I am convinced that together we can achieve it.”
“For several years I have been betting on clean and zero-carbon energy,” he continued. “Solar, wind, hydrogen and nuclear are the most important energy sources we are investing in. PAK is the first coal-fired power producer in Poland that not only says it has a plan to move away from coal but is actually moving away from it. We have built the largest photovoltaic farm in Poland, we plan to use wind energy, we are developing hydrogen infrastructure. Investment in the atom is a gigantic opportunity for Poland, its people and businesses to access clean and cheap energy. Poland needs diverse, ecological sources of electricity and heat, both for all individual and corporate consumers.”
“Global warming is, unfortunately, a reality,” commented Michał Sołowow. “Deep decarbonisation is a necessity and is driven not only by concern for the planet but also by real economic needs and cost-efficiency. The obvious answer to this crisis is nuclear technology – modern, but nevertheless based on proven past solutions. Poland is the manufacturing hub of Europe, which requires emission-free and stable sources of energy. If we want to continue developing at a fast pace and become a more affluent society, and attract further foreign investment to us, we must have access to attractively priced energy. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to implement this project together with an outstanding and experienced Polish entrepreneur and colleague, Zygmunt Solorz.”
His company Synthos, the largest producer of synthetic rubber and polystyrene in Europe plays two roles in this project: as an investor and technology provider.
“Pątnów is the location indicated in the government’s Polish Nuclear Power Programme,” said Piotr Woźny, CEO of ZE PAK. “Our plans are not in competition with those of the state – SMRs will not replace the state’s large-scale power generation, but they may be an excellent supplement to it and gradually replace some of the power generated from fossil fuels and in the near future they may help compensate for the lack of available capacity in the power system, resulting from the decommissioning of subsequent coal-fired units and increasing demand for electricity.”
Last year, ZE PAK announced its exit from the coal-fired power generation business by 2030. This is the most ambitious and most specific declaration of the decarbonisation made by the Polish energy company. The established deadline is in line with the final term for coal-fired power generation set by the Paris Agreement (2015) and will contribute significantly to achieve climate neutrality by the Wielkopolska region.