Poland faces $15 bln nuclear power bill over 20 years - minister

RUDA SLASKA, Poland, March 4 (Reuters) - Poland will have to spend 60 billion zlotys ($15.56 billion) on its planned nuclear power plants over the next 20 years, the Polish minister responsible for energy infrastructure Piotr Naimski said on Wednesday.

Poland generates most of its electricity from carbon-intensive coal and is the only EU state that has not pledged to achieve climate neutrality in 2050.

But facing pressure from the European Union to reduce emissions, it has planned to build 6-9 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear generation by 2040.

“This will require spending 60 billion zlotys. These are huge amounts but our state can afford it,” Naimski told a conference in Silesia, a coal region in south of Poland.

Poland hopes to cooperate with the United States on its nuclear energy project. Also French President Emmanuel Macron said last month that France supports Poland’s transition away from coal by using nuclear technology to produce electricity. ($1 = 3.8564 zlotys) (Reporting by Wojciech Zurawski; writing by Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Barbara Lewis)