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Nukem’s debts pose threat to Lithuania’s entire construction sector

Biokuro katilinės Kaune statybos
„GECO Investicijos“ nuotr. / construction
Šaltinis: BNS

Nukem Technologies, a Russian-owned German company, is carrying out multi-billion-litas decommissioning projects at Lithuania’s Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) and has recently replaced sub-contractor in four large projects for the second time, so its debts pose a threat to Lithuania's entire construction sector, the Lietuvos Rytas daily reports.

Large Lithuanian companies previously contracted by Nukem are still unable to recover the money owed to them and have run into debt to other companies. The current situation poses a threat to dozens of companies, a warning letter sent to the government says.

Gintaras Adomonis, bankruptcy administrator of Ranga IV, a major construction company in bankruptcy, first addressed the authorities over Nukem’s arrears a month ago. Ranga IV, which worked on a project of a spent nuclear fuel storage facility, seeks to recover a debt of more than 19 million litas (EUR 5.5m) from the German company through court.

“We want to know the approach of the authorities towards this issue, so we are waiting for a response. We have not received any reply yet,” Adomonis told the daily.

Vėtrūna, a building company that replaced Ranga IV at the decommissioning projects, is unable to recover sums due to it either. Vėtrūna terminated its contract with Nukem in July.

Osman Katsiyev, CEO of Vilstata that was recently sub-contarcted by Nukem, told the daily that he was worried while negotiating the contract. “However, we put forward stringent terms on payment guarantees. Therefore, I hope that there will be no problems with payments.”

He confirmed that Vilstata had only signed a contract for the B2 project of the solid nuclear waste processing and storage complex.

Katsiyev refused to disclose any financial details. He said, however, that the guarantees were sufficient to ensure payments to the building company.

“The negotiations were long. Moreover, we received support from EU institutions. We have the experience required hence we believe that we will manage to prevent the scenario of Ranga IV and Vėtrūna from repeating itself", he said adding that Vilstata would launch works at B2 as early as late August.

Meanwhile, Adomonis claimed in the letter to the authorities that Nukem’s losses last year totaled 15 million euros and its liabilities made up 33 million euros.

Beate Scheffler, Nukem Technologies’ corporate communications head, refused to make any comments about financial issues to Lietuvos Rytas.

Scheffler told BNS last week that Nukem had signed a contract with Vilstata for B1 (interim spent fuel storage facility) project and that Vilstata was “already our subcontractor at the B2 project”. The negotiations for the B34 (solid radioactive waste management and storage complex) project were ongoing, she said.

Nukem Technologies is fully owned by Russia’s Atomstroyexport.

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