July 29, 2022
US small modular reactor (SMR) developer Last Energy has signed a letter of intent with Poland’s Legnica Special Economic Zone (LSEZ) and DB Energy for the construction of a power plant consisting of ten SMRs with a combined capacity of 200 MWe. The agreement also includes a power purchase agreement for a minimum term of 24 years by LSEZ and its tenants.
The signing of the agreement, from left to right: Dominik Brach, Piotr Danielski, Damian Jamroz and Ryszard Wawryniewicz (Image: LSEZ)
“The agreement between Last Energy and LSEZ marks an important step towards widespread deployment of SMR, representing over $1 billion in investment and over $5 billion in power sales,” Last Energy said.
Last Energy’s SMR offering covers the entire investment process, including design, construction, financing, service and decommissioning. DB Energy, based in Wrocław, will ensure the integration of the power plant infrastructure and end customers.
The Legnica Special Economic Zone – in the province of Dolnośląskie in southwestern Poland – has been operating since 1997 and is now home to more than 75 companies and more than 16,000 jobs.
“This project would provide a safe, stable and emission-free source of energy for factories located in the area,” said LSEZ Chairman Przemysław Bożek. “We are taking another step not only towards green energy, but also to strengthen energy security.”
LSEZ Vice President Ryszard Wawryniewiczof added: “Today’s meeting is a continuation of the cooperation started between Last Energy, DB Energy and Legnica Special Economic Zone. After verifying the financial and economic benefits of implementing the new SMR technology in the area, we moved on to talks on the financing and construction of a power plant consisting of 10 small nuclear reactors.
“As one of the first in the world, we have the opportunity to apply such technology at home. We see a great opportunity and a number of benefits resulting from the implementation of investments, including the achieving real zero emissions, increasing the investment attractiveness of the areas offered or building the competitive advantage of the area and the investors operating there.”
“Poland is one of the first countries where Last Energy plans to implement our SMR technology,” said Damian Jamroz, Managing Director of Last Energy’s Polish subsidiary, Last Energy Polska. “We are pleased that the Legnica Special Economic Zone has expressed its interest in locating one of the planned investments in its region, as well as its intention to sign a long-term contract for the energy produced.
“Now we will start the process of identifying potential locations. Our goal is to support the process of decarbonization of the Polish economy, as well as to ensure the energy security of Polish industry and society.”
“Our investment will provide entrepreneurs in the zero-emission zone with a stable source of energy,” said Dominik Brach, CEO of DB Energy. “Small nuclear power plants, especially those produced by our partner Last Energy, are the future of large companies on their way to zero emissions.”
Last Energy is a spin-off of the Energy Impact Center, a research institute dedicated to accelerating the clean energy transition through innovation. Its SMR technology is based on a pressurized water reactor with a capacity of 20 MWe or 60 MWt. The power plant modules would be built offsite and assembled into modules. Thanks to the use of ready-to-use modular components, a reactor should be assembled within 24 months of the final investment decision. The assumed life of the power plant is 42 years.
In June, Last Energy signed an agreement with Polish state energy company Enea SA to cooperate in the deployment of SMR, potentially in Poland. As part of the letter of intent between Enea and Last Energy, the two companies will initially cooperate on the development, construction and subsequent distribution of SMR. It also provides for the possibility of creating a joint company in Poland, responsible for the implementation of Last Energy’s SMR technology in Poland. After confirming the economic and technological viability and obtaining the relevant certificates, the companies will decide on the scope of future cooperation based on the market analyzes carried out and the needs of the Enea group.
“Globally, we face an urgent need to increase energy security without derailing our climate progress,” said Last Energy Founder and CEO Bret Kugelmass. “Nuclear energy offers countries a powerful strategy to achieve both goals. Today’s agreement is a crucial step towards bringing stable, reliable and competitive energy to Poland, and establishing ‘an indispensable model of how energy security and climate goals can align for the industry sector.’
Research and writing by World Nuclear News