KGHM, the Polish copper giant, has signed a joint commitment with the companies NuScale Power, an American leader amongst producers of small modular reactors technology, and with PBE Molecule, to develop SMR technology. NuScale’s technology for small nuclear reactors enables the production of clean, renewable and cost-effective energy.
KGHM, as part of its preparations to advance investments involving the building of nuclear power sources, has signed an agreement with an SMR reactor technology producer. Under the signed agreement, NuScale will support KGHM with the implementation of SMR technology to replace existing coal-based energy sources. This clean energy is expected to provide power to the copper company’s production plants. This cooperation involves the development and construction of 4 small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), with the option of up to 12 (with installed capacity of around 1GW). This will potentially be the largest installation of its type in the world. Completion of the project is expected by the end of 2030.
"The changes in the climate are forcing us to take decisive actions. We are already feeling the impact, including in a financial sense, connected among others with the increases in energy prices. The construction of small nuclear reactors by 2030 is a solid declaration and an element our energy transformation. We are pioneers in Poland, as we expect that the first of our nuclear power plants will come online in 2029," said Marcin Chludziński, President of the Management Board of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. "SMR technology will not only help us to protect the environment but will also substantially reduce the costs of operating our business. This is one of the recently-announced initiatives aimed at growing the company, and we plan to generate power commercially in order to assist in the green transformation of Poland and bring down costs for the average household," added President Chludziński.
In accordance with its signed commitment, KGHM Polska Miedź will not only be a recipient of the final product, but will also actively participate in the development of this technology.
“NuScale is thrilled to partner with KGHM and PBE on the potential deployment of NuScale Power plants in Poland,” said John Hopkins, Chairman and CEO of NuScale Power. “The retirement of aging coal-fired power plants is leading to changes in power generation, infrastructure needs, and workforce opportunity. NuScale’s SMR technology is an ideal flexible clean energy solution to repurpose retiring coal fueled power plants and most importantly, retain and retrain the skilled power plant workforce already in place in these Polish communities.”
The strategy being advanced by KGHM states that by the year 2030, half of the company’s power needs will be supplied by its own internal sources, including RES. KGHM Polska Miedź is advancing projects involving the construction of PV plants on the grounds of its facilities, is a signer of an agreement aimed at developing offshore wind farms in Poland, and is now adding energy from small nuclear reactors to this mix.
NuScale Power has developed a new modular light water reactor nuclear power plant to supply energy for electrical generation, district heating, desalination, hydrogen production and other process heat applications. This groundbreaking small modular reactor (SMR) design features a fully factory-fabricated NuScale Power Module™ capable of generating 77 MW of electricity using a safer, smaller, and scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology. NuScale's scalable design—power plants that can house up to four, six, or 12 individual power modules—offers the benefits of carbon-free energy and reduces the financial commitments associated with gigawatt-sized nuclear facilities. The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor Corporation, a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 70-year history in commercial nuclear power.
KGHM is involved in the mining and processing of valuable natural resources. At its heart is the largest deposit of copper ore in Europe, located in south-western Poland. By advancing our strategy we are systematically strengthening KGHM’s international position. Currently the company has a geographically diversified mine project profile. Its has operations on three continents – in Europe, North America and South America. The copper ore resources controlled by KGHM guarantee the company a leading position in the mining industry. Our portfolio includes metals such as molybdenum, palladium and nickel, opening the way for KGHM to gain a strong position amongst the world’s diversified miners.
* Piela Business Engineering
Piela Business Engineering is a Poland based consulting firm providing strategic, operational, engineering and regulatory advisory, primarily focused on energy and chemical sectors. For over 20 years, PBE’s experts have participated in the processes related to the climate and energy transformation and the implementation of the circular economy, working for governments, financial institutions, regulators and enterprises in Poland and abroad. The realized projects included policy papers, strategic studies, feasibility studies, but also full scope preparation of investment projects for implementation.
PBE's experts have been involved in the development of the Nuclear Power Program in Poland since early 2009. www.pbe-molcule.com.
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