Lithuanian lawmakers approved a proposal to hold a referendum on whether to build a new nuclear power plant, rebuffing calls from Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius to reject the initiative.
Parliament voted 62-39, with 18 abstentions, to hold the plebiscite in October along with parliamentary elections, according to the vote-count on the parliament’s website.
The Baltic region is seeking to cut its dependence on energy imports from Russia by constructing a 1,300-megawatt reactor in Visaginas, 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. The Lithuanian government had planned to sign an agreement with Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. (6501) to proceed with engineering and preparation work.
Lithuania plans to hold a preliminary stake of 38 percent in the Visaginas facility, which will cost as much as $6.5 billion, according to initial estimates. Estonia may own 22 percent, while Latvia and Hitachi will each hold 20 percent.
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