The new asynchronous hydro unit would have a capacity of 225 megawatts.
Lietuvos Energija plans to launch by the end of this year a new competitive bidding process to select a contractor to implement the project on a turnkey basis. The company expects the unit to be built by the end of 2015, when power interconnections with Sweden and Poland are planned to be constructed.
Lietuvos Energija CEO Dalius Misiūnas told BNS that the end of 2015 is a realistic target date for completing the project, because potential contractors participated in the first bidding in 2010. He said that there are only three or four producers of such equipment in Europe.
Misiūnas said that the company has revised the project in technology and market terms since the cancellation of the first call for tenders a year and a half ago.
"We discussed several options, such as whether to build two lower capacity units or one higher capacity unit. We decided to stick with our original choice (to build a single unit). We have only revised the technical specifications and on we go," he said.
The company said earlier that, among other things, the fifth hydro unit would allow balancing wind energy production.
In 2010, Lietuvos Energija announced a call for tenders to select a general contractor for the construction of a 250-MW hydro unit at the Kruonis plant, estimated to cost 300 million litas, but cancelled the bidding process in March 2011.
The Kruonis plant currently has a capacity of 900 MW.
Construction on the plant began in 1978. Unit 1 was put into operation in 1992 and Unit 4 was launched in 1998.
State-owned Visagino Atominė Elektrinė (Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant, or VAE) holds a 96.13 percent stake in Lietuvos Energija, which also owns the Lithuanian Power Plant in Elektrėnai and the Kaunas Hydro Power Plant.