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Poland’s KGHM looks to nuclear as an alternative power source

Update of KGHM Polska Miedz SA

KGHM CEO warned that finding a cheaper energy source is a “national interest issue” for Polish businesses as copper producers plan to build four small modular reactors. ..

Marcin Chludzinski said the reactor built by the US group NuScale, which is scheduled to go online for the first time in 2029, will make KGHM, Poland’s second-largest electricity consumer, self-sufficient in energy production and volatile. He said it would insulate from energy. price.

“To be a globally competitive and energy-intensive business like us … We need to have access to the cheapest electricity possible, and that’s our goal. “In an interview with the .

“It’s not just a challenge for us … It’s a challenge for all Polish companies as energy continues to become more expensive at this rate, reducing their ability to invest.”

Poland remains one of the EU’s most coal-dependent economies, producing almost 70% of its energy from fossil fuels last year.

However, as the EU raises climate targets and CO2 emission costs rise, companies are increasingly demanding access to cheaper and more stable electricity supplies, and many are interested in small modular reactors (SMRs). It is.

Last month, Poland’s two wealthiest men, Michal Solowow, who manages the chemical group Synthos, and Zygmunt Solorz, who owns a majority stake in media group Polsat and energy group ZEPAK, announced a project to build their own SMR. .. The end of the last 10 years.

Synthos has also signed a contract with Poland’s state-owned oil refiner PKN Orlen to collaborate on this technology with Chiech, a chemical group managed by billionaire Sebastian Kulczyk.

Chludzinski said Poland has been “excessively” punished due to the fact that Poland’s energy remains heavily dependent on coal. But he said technologies such as SMR could help accelerate the country’s energy transition.

“The poles are very flexible. If these are the conditions we have to compete with and it turns out that we can’t change them, we can adapt very quickly. I think energy conversions that are intended to happen over time can happen more quickly, “he said.

The agreement between KGHM and NuScale, signed last week in Warsaw, assumes that by the end of 2030, four SMRs, each with a capacity of 77 MW, will be built. However, there is room to increase the number of units to 12. It produces about 1 GW of electricity.

Chludzinski said the project (whose cost has not yet been determined) could have the side effect of making KGHM a pure energy producer. But he said this was not the point of the exercise.

“We’re not going from a copper producer to an energy company. We’re focusing on copper above all else,” he said. “But if we need to be self-sufficient in terms of energy and have more energy than we need, we sell it.”

Poland’s KGHM looks to nuclear as an alternative power source

Source link Poland’s KGHM looks to nuclear as an alternative power source

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