- ZE PAK bets on SMRs - small modular reactors
- joint project of Zygmunt Solorz and Michał Sołowow
Zygmunt Solorz and Michał Sołowow, two largest private Polish entrepreneurs, have decided to launch a joint project to build a nuclear power plant in Pątnów on the basis of ZE PAK's assets. The power plant will operate on the basis of the most modern and safest American technology of the so-called Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). Joint action by the two entrepreneurs may help Poland in its energy transition from dirty to green energy and provide Polish citizens with clean and cheap energy. ZE PAK plans to invest in 4 to 6 SMR-type reactors with a capacity of 300 MW each.
"We need cheap and clean energy to develop as a State and society. Atom is a clean and ecological source of energy and this project brought us together with Michał. A common goal, that is a clean and competitive Poland, is worth taking up the challenge and I am convinced that together we can achieve it" - says Zygmunt Solorz.
"For several years I have been betting on clean and zero-carbon energy. Solar, wind, hydrogen and nuclear are the most important energy sources we are investing in. PAK is the first coal-fired power producer in Poland that not only says it has a plan to move away from coal, but is actually moving away from it. We have built the largest photovoltaic farm in Poland, we plan to use wind energy, we are developing hydrogen infrastructure. Investment in the atom is a gigantic opportunity for Poland, its people and businesses to access clean and cheap energy. Poland needs diverse, ecological sources of electricity and heat, both for all individual and corporate consumers" - adds Zygmunt Solorz.
"Global warming is unfortunately a reality. Deep decarbonisation is a necessity and is driven not only by concern for the planet, but also by real economic needs and cost efficiency. The obvious answer to this crisis is nuclear technology - modern, but nevertheless based on proven past solutions. Poland is the manufacturing hub of Europe, which requires emission-free and stable sources of energy. If we want to continue developing at a fast pace and become a more affluent society, and attract further foreign investment to us, we must have access to attractively priced energy. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to implement this project together with an outstanding and experienced Polish entrepreneur and colleague, Zygmunt Solorz" - saysMichał Sołowow - Synthos plays two roles in this project: as an investor and technology provider.
The joint project of Zygmunt Solorz and Michał Sołowow is the most serious - so far - undertaking related to nuclear energy and SMRs - small modular reactors. Thanks to the creation of a joint venture on the basis of part of ZE PAK's assets, it has a good chance of being completed - due to its location and the already existing power transmission infrastructure.
"Pątnów is the location indicated in the government's Polish Nuclear Power Programme. Our plans are not in competition with those of the state - SMRs will not replace the state's large-scale power generation, but they may be an excellent supplement to it and gradually replace some of the power generated from fossil fuels, and in the near future they may help compensate for the lack of available capacity in the power system, resulting from the decommissioning of subsequent coal-fired units and increasing demand for electricity" - says Piotr Woźny, CEO of ZE PAK.
On the basis of this agreement, the parties intend to cooperate by establishing a joint venture to carry out activities in the field of nuclear energy, in particular by building power generation units based on innovative GEH BWRX-300 reactors, or other optimal American SMR technologies. The planned investment in SMR units will be localized in the Pątnów Power Plant site. This site has been generating electricity from lignite from nearby opencast mine for several decades.
Last year, ZE PAK announced its exit from coal-fired power generation business by 2030. This is the most ambitious and most specific declaration of the decarbonisation made by Polish energy company. The established deadline is in line with the final term for coal-fired power generation set by the Paris Agreement (2015) and will contribute significantly to achieve the climate neutrality by Wielkopolska region.
Zygmunt Solorz is one of the largest private investors in Poland, with nearly 30 years of business experience in several areas of the economy.
He is recognized as one of the most reputable and successful entrepreneurs who built from scratch Poland's largest private enterprise based on Polish capital.
Top achievement of Mr. Solorz's business path is building the biggest Polish private company - Polsat Plus Group. Today, Cyfrowy Polsat S.A., Telewizja Polsat Sp. z o.o. (of which Zygmunt Solorz is also the founder), Polkomtel Sp. z o.o. (Plus mobile network operator), Netia S.A. and Grupa Interia are the largest media and telecommunications group in Poland and the CEE region.
Zygmunt Solorz focuses his activities on media and telecommunication, but the area of his investment activities also includes companies representing sectors like electric energy production (ZE PAK S.A.), finance and banking (Plus Bank S.A.), real estate (Port Praski Sp. z o.o.), as well as Poland's largest private jet airline (Jet Story).
Apart from the aforementioned areas of business, Zygmunt Solorz is also involved in many philanthropic activities. He is the originator and founder of the Polsat Foundation - one of the largest non-governmental organizations in Poland - which helps treat sick children and supports hospitals and medical centres throughout the country.
In 2019, Mr. Solorz set up the „Clean Poland Programme” Society. This is one of the pillars of his vision to make the environment in Poland better, especially to improve the air quality.
Michał Sołowow is the owner of the largest private industrial group in Central and Eastern Europe. The group owns 18 factories in 8 countries and sells products to over 90 countries on 6 continents; it employs over 18,000 people, including more than 6,000 outside Poland. He is the largest Polish private investor abroad - only this year he acquired a German chemical company for USD 491 million.
His major companies - Synthos, Barlinek and Cersanit – are global leaders. Synthos is the largest producer of synthetic rubber and polystyrene in Europe and the third largest producer globally: its rubber goes to 17 of the 20 largest tyre manufacturers. Barlinek is the world's largest manufacturer of floorboards, and Cersanit is one of the leading European producers of ceramic tiles.
Today, Michał Sołowow is primarily interested in green energy and biotechnologies. He is developing investments in wind farms on the Baltic Sea, nuclear energy for industry and heating (in cooperation with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy), solutions for hydrogen generation from high-temperature steam (in cooperation with the American Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation). He has also invested in: Corab - a Polish market leader in components for photovoltaic installations, Hydrogen Tech - which develops hydrogen cells technologies, and WP Systems – a German repair service provider for wind turbines.
Michał Sołowow‘s biotech portfolio includes OncoArendi, which last year signed a partnership agreement worth PLN 1.5bn - the largest of its kind in Poland - with the global company Galapagos. He also has stakes in ExploRNA Therapeutics (mRNA modification technologies) and LifeFlow (non-invasive coronography technologies).