GEH expands supplier network in Poland as government preps for first nuclear plants

Source: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

With Poland evaluating two GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) reactor models for the country’s first nuclear power plant projects, GEH announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Warsaw-based engineering firm Energoprojekt Warszawa, S.A. (EW) to discuss the feasibility of partnering on future reactor projects. 

The MOU with Energoprojekt Warszawa is the latest in a series of preliminary agreements that GEH has signed with Polish suppliers as the government prepares to develop Poland’s first two nuclear generating stations to diversify the country’s energy supplies. Under the new MOU, both companies will explore how EW could provide specific engineering services to GEH for the potential development of new nuclear power plants in Poland. 

“Energoprojekt Warszawa, S.A. is pleased about the potential cooperation with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy on the Polish nuclear plant construction,” said Andrzej Patrycy, president and managing director, Energoprojekt-Warszawa S.A. “This initial action shows the future possibility of creating jobs and cooperation related not only to Polish suppliers of fixtures, construction and installation works, but to Polish planning and engineering during the plant’s construction process.” 

Polish utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. (PGE) is still considering several reactor designs for the projects and Poland’s government expects to begin construction of its first nuclear power plant in 2016 and has targeted 2020 as the commercial date of operation (COD) for the first plant. The Generation III+Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) is GEH’s newest reactor design and offers the world’s most advanced passive safety systems. GEH’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) is the world’s only commercially proven Generation III reactor model. 

“GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy continues to grow the local and global supply chain capabilities to help PGE successfully complete its first nuclear power plant projects,” said Danny Roderick, senior vice president, new plant projects for GEH. “Energoprojekt Warszawa’s engineering services capabilities and special expertise in Polish codes and standards make it a great addition to our extensive Polish network and complements GEH’s role as a leading supplier of advanced BWR technologies.” 

Other preliminary project development agreements signed by GEH include: 

• March 2011 with the Institute of Atomic Energy in Poland (POLATOM), a research institute located in Świerk that advises the government on nuclear energy issues. 

• January 2011
o Stocznia Gdansk, a leading Polish shipyard, for the potential manufacturing of nuclear components for GEH.
o RAFAKO S.A., Europe’s leading boiler equipment manufacturer, for the potential manufacturing of nuclear components for GEH.
o Gdansk University of Technology, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin University, and Koszalin University of Technology. 

• May 2010 with global engineering services firm SNC-Lavalin Polska. 

In addition to GEH’s local supply chain initiatives to prepare for potential reactor orders, GE currently has more than 10,000 employees in Poland. 

Helping Poland Develop Domestic Nuclear Workforce 

GEH is demonstrating its commitment to supporting Poland’s economy by helping the country create a sustainable, domestic pool of nuclear engineers by donating a number of valuable GateCycle ™ heat balance modeling software packages to several Polish universities. GEH’s customized GateCycle software is used to model nuclear steam cycles and is a powerful tool in teaching students advanced methods of plant modeling and troubleshooting to optimize plant performance. 

GEH also is hosting 14 engineering interns from Poland. The students recently began their summer internships at GEH’s U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, N.C. The 10-week assignment will expose them to many facets of the nuclear industry including engineering, finance, regulatory affairs and information management.

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