Korean nuclear facility in Konin. The city authorities are rubbing their hands

Luc Williams

According to the Koreans, the meeting was intended to familiarize representatives of the region with the project to build a nuclear power plant in Konin and to strengthen communication with the region. The most important information about the project, the strengths of the Korean ARP1400 technology and achievements as part of the investment carried out in the United Arab Emirates were presented. KHNP emphasized the fact that the construction of the nuclear power plant will help revitalize the local economy and create new jobs.

“There is no resistance to investment”

– The seminar was another step towards communication with the city of Konin, and in the future we plan to organize programs enabling exchange at various levels in the region where the nuclear power plant is to be built – said Insik Park, executive vice president of KHNP responsible for the international development of the nuclear business.

It was the first official meeting of the KHNP authorities and representatives of the local government. The South Korean ambassador was also present at the meeting. – They saw a city where there is no resistance to investment. We will want to ask the residents for their approval, but this should be done primarily by the investor. However, there are no political or social groups in Konin that would protest against the nuclear power plant. In this respect, the city is ready for investment – says Tomasz Nowak (KO), MP from the Konin district, in an interview with Forsal.pl. He adds that opinion surveys conducted among the local community are intended to confirm this state of affairs.

– We did not conduct research on the level of support for the planned investment – confirms the mayor of Konin, Piotr Korytkowski, in a comment for Forsal.pl. – In my opinion, when information about the possibility of building a nuclear power plant in Konin appeared in the public space, residents saw it as an opportunity for the development of the region. I did not encounter any objections, but rather very important questions regarding, for example, security issues. Let me remind you that we are in the process of energy transformation, we are also a region closely related to energy – emphasizes Korytkowski.

They can build power plants on time

The last survey among the inhabitants of Eastern Greater Poland examining support for investment in nuclear energy in the region was conducted in 2010. 54 percent respondents were in favor of nuclear power.

However, according to the Konin authorities, answering any doubts of the residents should be the investor’s responsibility. – In the conversation with the investor, we emphasized that there must be dialogue with the local community. Any doubts, e.g. regarding the above-mentioned safety, must be clearly explained. Factors such as a positive atmosphere around such an investment, the mood among residents, and communication – are very important. This is a great opportunity for our region, but residents should also be convinced that this is a new opening for them too – adds the mayor of Konin.

– We want this investment to be credible and for the project to be completed on time, i.e. within 10-12 years, because then we will have a serious hole in the energy system. These guarantees should be articulated. We have an example from the United Arab Emirates that the Koreans are able to build nuclear power plants on time – says MP Tomasz Nowak.

For the local government, it is also important to refute the argument that only state entities can be involved in the construction of nuclear power plants. Although Polska Grupa Energetyczna and KHNP are state-owned companies, the project in Konin is a business venture. – If the Polish state receives a guarantee that the construction will not excessively burden the state budget and will be completed on time, this will be the basis for giving the project the green light – adds Nowak.

Konin is counting on benefits

To build such an investment, the necessary road and railway infrastructure must be developed. The Polish side wants to pass on such costs to investors. A special act for the Eastern Greater Poland region could serve to protect the interests of local government.

Konin is counting on tangible benefits from the construction of a nuclear power plant. – We want to create jobs for residents. We have potential in residents who have experience, are professionally active and have worked in the energy industry for many years. So we have energy engineers, we have infrastructure, we are ready to use the potential we have after re-profiling the energy sector to nuclear. We hope that local companies that could be included in the investment process will benefit from the construction, says Piotr Korytkowski.

The city would benefit from the investment in the form of property taxes. The authorities hope that nuclear power will be a driving force for the economy of the entire region. In addition to electricity, hydrogen could also be produced – during periods of high electricity production from renewable sources, surplus power from the nuclear power plant could be used to produce zero-emission fuel, among others. for transport purposes.


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