Estonia will decide whether to take part in Lithuania’s Visaginas nuclear plant project when it can assess the profitability of its potential contribution based on the construction plan, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said.
“Profitability is the key issue for us,” he told a news conference in Tallinn today.
Lithuania wants to cut its dependence on electricity imports from Russia after closing the Soviet-era Ignalina facility at the end of 2009. Neighboring Latvia and Estonia rely less on energy imports because of hydro and oilshale resources. The Lithuanian government plans to build the 1,300-megawatt reactor in Visaginas by 2020.
The plan is for Lithuania to have an initial stake of 38 percent in the plant, which may cost as much as $6.5 billion, Economy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas said yesterday. Estonia may hold 22 percent, while Latvia and Hitachi Ltd. (6501), a Japanese reactor-builder, would hold 20 percent each. The Lithuanian government is also in talks with neighboring Poland on possible participation, Sekmokas said.
Ansip said Estonia’s position on the project is shared by other partners.
“Latvia, which has constantly participated in negotiations, and as far as I know also the Polish energy company, will again analyze their intent to participate once it is possible to assess the profitability of the project,” he said.
A concession agreement for construction of the plant, which was signed with Hitachi in March, requires the approval of Lithuania’s parliament by June 28.
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