Poland's PGE launches nuclear technology tenders

Monday, February 7, 2011

Poland's largest power group Polska Grupa Energetyczna said Sunday it had started two tender procedures for its nascent nuclear power program.

PGE said an owner's engineer tender for technological advisory services and another for environmental and site surveying had been launched by its newly created subsidiary PGE EJ 1.

State-owned PGE has been tasked by the Polish government with building 6,000 MW of nuclear generation capacity, with the first 3,000 MW unit to be commissioned by 2020.

The owner's engineer 10-year contract is worth Zloty 1.25 billion ($440 million) and the winner will prepare and carry out the technical and engineering project including selecting and contracting the suppliers of the reactor technology.

Poland is seeking third-generation reactor technology and has signed a number of non-binding cooperation agreements with South Korea, Japan and the US. PGE has signed similar agreements with companies including Westinghouse Electric, GE Hitachi and France's EDF.

The second contract, worth Zloty 120 million, is for environmental and site surveying, PGE said.

The government is hoping to push new legislation, needed to regulate the country's nuclear energy program, through parliament by the end of June. PGE will then choose a site for the first reactor.

Zarnowiec, in Pomerania province north of Gdansk near the Baltic coast, is thought likely to be chosen.

Poland fast-tracked the creation of a nuclear power sector in January 2009 during the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute. The government plans to meet 15% of its energy needs from nuclear power by 2030. Currently the country produces close to 95% of its power from coal or lignite.

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