SEOUL/WARSAW - Seoul and Warsaw signed outline agreements to develop nuclear power in Poland, ministries from both countries said on Monday, as Poland strives to phase out coal and lower its carbon emissions and South Korea seeks to revive its nuclear industry.
Poland's ZE PAK and PGE and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) will assess the viability of building four 1,400-megawatt nuclear reactors in Patnow, central Poland, using South Korean technology, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a joint statement with the Polish Ministry of State Assets.
The companies, with government backing, intend to prepare a preliminary development plan for the plant by the end of this year, they said in a statement.
Since the election this year of President Yoon Suk-yeol, who pledged to revive the country's nuclear power industry, South Korea has stepped up efforts to win nuclear power plant export orders.
If a final deal is signed, it will be "an achievement supported by the Korean government's firm determination and policy to export nuclear plants," Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Chang-Yang Lee said.
During his visit to Korea Polish State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin also discussed enhancing Poland's defence partnership with South Korea, he said on Twitter.
"We welcome the information that ZE PAK and PGE have entered into talks with KHNP, which will further strengthen relations between Poland and South Korea," Sasin was quoted as saying in a statement.
ZE PAK, owned by billionaire Zygmunt Solorz, produces energy mainly from lignite, but plans to phase out coal by 2030 and produce only energy from renewable sources afterwards.
Monday's agreements follow on from an announcement on Friday when Warsaw said U.S. firm Westinghouse Electric Co will build the country's first nuclear power plant in northern Poland.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee in Seoul and Anna Koper in Warsaw; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)