Poland sees most nuclear build work given to domestic suppliers

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

WARSAW, July 31 (Reuters) - Poland estimates that 60-70 percent of the work involved in building its first nuclear power station will be awarded to domestic suppliers, an Economy Ministry official said in a report on Tuesday.

The European Union member is planning to launch operations of a three-gigawatt nuclear plant by 2023 and hopes to double the capacity by 2030 in a bid to reduce its reliance on highly polluting coal and provide energy for its expanding economy.

Estimates of the cost to build the first plant vary between 30 billion ($8.92 billion) and 50 billion zlotys ($14.87 billion). Potential suppliers have promoted their technology by presenting benefits to the Polish economy as a whole, among other things.

"The development of nuclear power is a big chance for Polish industry," Zbigniew Kubacki, head of the Economy Ministry's nuclear energy department, said in an interview for business portal wnp.pl.

"We estimate that around 60-70 percent of the costs of the plant's construction may stay in the country thanks to the participation of local entities."

American-Japanese group GE Hitachi, France's Areva and Westinghouse, a U.S unit of Japan's Toshiba, have all signalled interest in supplying technology for the project that has already faced a number of delays.

At the end of June the project's manager PGE, Poland's top utility, delayed launching the technology supplier tender as it works out how it will finance the costly project.

It is not clear when the tender, previously scheduled for the second quarter of 2012, will move forward.

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