GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Synthos announced in October 2019 an agreement to collaborate on potential deployment applications for GEH’s BWRX-300 SMR design in Poland.
Synthos, a manufacturer of synthetic rubber and one of the biggest producers of chemical raw materials in Poland, is interested in obtaining affordable, on-demand, carbon-free electricity from a dependable, dedicated source.
Orlen said tapping into modular reactor development is in line with the company’s strategic goal to achieve emission neutrality by 2050 and will ensure the improvement of Poland's energy security, and is a response to the growing demand for electricity.
The company said the agreement with Synthos opens the possibility of creating a joint company in the future to allow for developing zero-emission energy projects.
The cooperation with Synthos results from the “great potential of SMRs” and Orlen sees the possibility of using the reactors both as a source of energy for the needs of its own refining and petrochemical plants and for “external entities”, said Orlen president Daniel Obajtek.
SMRs will also be able to provide industrial heat and support the development of Orlen’s hydrogen strategy, he said.
The Polish government has already said it wants to build from 6,000 to 9,000 MW of installed commercial nuclear capacity using conventional large-scale technology with operation of a first reactor unit in a proposed set of six earmarked for 2033.