A minimum of one BWRX-300-based SMR to be built in Poland by 2030

Poland’s ORLEN Synthos Green Energy is selecting potential sites for the construction of small modular reactors (SMRs). As of 17 April 2023, seven locations have been selected for further geological surveys, including the outskirts of Ostrołęka, Włocławek, Stawy Monowskie, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Nowa Góra, the Tarnobrzeża Special Economic Zone in Stalowa Wola and Warsaw. These cities are home to production facilities with high energy consumption and those that are optimal for using district heating systems. The final choice of locations will be determined after a dialogue with these cities’ residents and agreements with local authorities.

As Daniel Obajtek, President of the Board of ORLEN, said, a minimum of one small modular reactor powered by BWRX-300 technology is expected to be built in Poland by 2030, as each SMR will create about 100 jobs at the power plant and about 1,000 in the region. SMRs will also provide access to safe and cheap energy and extra revenues to local budgets.

ORLEN Synthos Green Energy’s investment will involve at least several dozen Polish companies in the supply chain, meaning that nearly half of the costs of the first small modular reactor will stay in the country. Moreover, the investment will allow creating hundreds of new jobs in numerous industries. In addition to jobs for highly and medium-skilled personnel at the power plant itself, residents of the cities where the project will be implemented will also be employed in construction or transportation. One unit is expected to provide about 100 jobs for local communities at the power station itself, and each of them will create another 5-6 in the vicinity, excluding construction work. Cheap energy and assured supply will be an incentive for investors. Local governments, in turn, will receive more budget revenues. This will allow them to subsidise healthcare facilities, kindergartens, schools, community centres and other initiatives essential to residents.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) and the U.S. Corporation for International Development (DFC) signed letters of interest to lend up to $3 billion and $1 billion, respectively, to finance the construction of the first two power plants by Orlen Synthos Green Energy.