Poland plans its first atomic power plant on Baltic
Poland's first nuclear power plant, due to come on line by 2020, is set to be located near the Baltic Sea, Polish energy group PGE said on Friday.
Three potential sites near the coast, at Zarnowiec, Choczewo and Gaski, were picked from around a hundred proposed locations, PGE chief Tomasz Zadroga told reporters.
The final choice is due to be announced in around two years, when the winner of the bidding race to build the plant will also be revealed, he said.
State-controlled PGE, which is in charge of Poland's atomic power programme, is set to launch the tender process before the end of this year.
Poland, a nation of 38 million people, currently relies on its plentiful coal reserves to generate 94 percent of its electricity.
The ex-communist country, which joined the European Union in 2004, aims to construct two 3,000-megawatt reactors.
The cost of the nuclear programme is estimated at 100 billion zloty (22.1 billion euros, $29.4 billion)
Three international consortia have already expressed an interest in the project: France's EDF and Areva, US-Japanese Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, and US-Japanese GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas.
The nuclear option is strategic for Poland.
One goal is to meet EU quotas for cutting the country's carbon dioxide emissions, a tough task in a coal-fired economy.
The government's energy policy also involves reducing the role of energy imports.
Poland currently relies on Russia to cover 40 percent of its gas needs, for example, while other importers supply 30 percent and its own resources account for 30 percent.
(c) 2011 AFP