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Published: 26 june 2012 10:27

Lithuanian Energy plans to set up industrial park at Kruonis plant

Kruonio hidroakumuliacinė elektrinė
Kęstučio Vanago/BFL nuotr. / Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant

Lithuania's state-owned electricity production group Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) is planning to set up a 30-hectare industrial park on the grounds of the Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant, a project that will require an estimated investment of 9.5 million litas (EUR 2.75 m), of which 9 million litas is expected to come from EU funds.

Lithuanian Economy Minister Rimantas Zylius signed a decree on 11 June to add Lietuvos Energija's project to a list of projects financed under the Invest LT instrument, according to the document available on the Seimas' (parliament) legislation database.

"The idea emerged from the specific location (next to the Kruonis plant). We can ensure uninterrupted power supply. Also, there is a source of water nearby, which could be used for cooling. These two things make this location attractive for data centers," Lietuvos Energija CEO Dalius Misiūnas told BNS on Monday.

Misiūnas said that the company is working together with Invest Lithuania, the government's investment promotion agency, to attract potential investors.

"There is a sufficiently strong interest from investors. We supply them with all the information they need," he said.

According to the minister's decree, Lietuvos Energija plans to create better conditions for foreign investors for the establishment of data centers and the development of high-tech, high value-added production and energy research investment projects in the industrial park.

Lietuvos Energija expects to develop the 30-hectare industrial park by October 2015, with one to two lots for investors to be planned.

The company will apply to the Lithuanian Business Support Agency for 9 million litas in EU aide.

Back in late 2010, the government granted a 60-hectare industrial park being developed on the grounds of the Kruonis plant the status of an economic project of national importance. It was said at that time that around 640 million litas in investment from data center developers was expected.

The Kruonis PSP industrial park covers an area of 75.3 hectares.

During periods of low demand, the Kruonis plant is operated in pump mode, and, using cheap surplus energy, raises water from the lower reservoir to the upper one. With the fully filled upper reservoir, the facility can operate as a regular hydro power plant and supply electricity to the national grid for more than 12 hours.

Construction on the Kruonis plant, which is located in the district of Kaišiadorys, not far from Lithuania's second-biggest city of Kaunas, began in 1978. Its first unit was launched in 1992 and the fourth, and last, unit was put into operation in 1998.

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