Poland's nuclear plant project needs state backing-PM

WARSAW, April 2 Tue Apr 2, 2013 4:06pm BST

WARSAW, April 2 (Reuters) - Poland will need to provide some form of state support for its long-awaited nuclear plant that is expected to cost $15 billion, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday.

Poland, the European Union's largest eastern member, originally planned to launch a 3 gigawatt nuclear plant by 2023 and to double that capacity by 2030 to reduce its dependence on highly polluting coal.

But the chief executive at Poland's top utility PGE, had warned that due to high costs it would be difficult to build the nuclear power plant without government backing, which had been ruled out by the treasury ministry.

"The head of PGE is right to say that such a big project will not be developed without the state's support," Tusk told a news conference. "I don't intend to burden only one company, even as big as PGE, with this project."

Tusk added that state assistance could include support in finding financing for the project.

PGE failed to meet a March deadline to sign a deal with three other state-controlled firms to share costs of the investment. ($1 = 3.2514 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by James Jukwey)

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