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Kaunas authorities not inclined to approve Gazprom's power plant sale

Kauno termofikacinės elektrinės plėtra supriešino politikus
Eriko Ovčarenko / 15min nuotr. / Kaunas Combined Heat and Power Plant
Šaltinis: BNS

A working group set up by the mayor of Kaunas to look into Gazprom's planned sale of its combined heat and power plant in Lithuania's second-biggest city to US-registered Clement Power Venture is not inclined to approve the deal at the moment, the group's head has said.

Russia's gas giant purchased Kauno Termofikacinė Elektrinė (Kaunas Combined Heat and Power Plant, or KTE) from the city 10 years ago.

Gediminas Žukauskas, member of the City Council of Kaunas, said that at the moment, they do not have sufficient information about the planned transaction.

"We have very little information. It is not clear to us if the commitments remain in effect when the stake is transferred, which is very important for us. Today we invited (Clement Power Venture's shareholder) Rimandas Stonys and (KTE CEO) Antanas Pranculis and the lawyers for an exchange of views," he told BNS.

Žukauskas said that the working group had decided not to approve the sale of the stake in the absence of a clear guarantee. "The working group recommends writing to Gazprom that, under current conditions, we cannot approve (the deal), but are open to dialogue," he said.

The politician said that such a letter will be sent to Gazprom in the near future.

According to Žukauskas, Stonys told them on Tuesday that the new owner will seek to reduce the heating price by around 25 percent, but offered no calculations to support these intentions.

Pranculis, CEO of KTE, confirmed to BNS that Clement Power Venture is planning to invest up to 350 million litas (EUR 101.4 m) in biofuel technology.

Gazprom Vice-president Valery Golubev has asked in a letter to the CEO of Kauno Energija (Kaunas Energy) to confirm that the municipal company does not object to Russians transferring their 99.496 percent stake in KTE to Clement Power Venture and to canceling an agreement signed between Gazprom and Kauno Energija on 31 March 2003.

Gazprom, together with the Lithuanian gas supplier Dujotekana and Clement Power Venture, purchased KTE from Kauno Energija for 116 million litas in 2003 and pledged to invest another 400 million litas in the plant to increase its capacity by 80 megawatts.

KTE supplies about 80 percent of Kaunas' heat energy needs.

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