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Lithuania’s Prime Minister welcomes progress in power plant talks with Hitachi

Andrius Kubilius (kairėje), „Hitachi“ viceprezidentas Masaharu Hanyu (centre) ir Žygimantas Vaičiūnas
BFL/Tomo Lukšio nuotr. / Andrius Kubilius (left), „Hitachi“ vicepresident Masaharu Hanyu (centre) and Žygimantas Vaičiūnas
Šaltinis: BNS
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Lithuania’s Prime Minister welcomes progress in talks with Japan’s Hitachi and regional partners on the concession and shareholders agreements. However, Andrius Kubilius would not reveal when the concession agreement might be initialed adding that there were still challenges to overcome.

“We can but praise the progress achieved in talks on the concession, on the shareholders agreement. We have once more reviewed all economic parameters connected to both the construction of the power plant and the environment where the power plant would operate and sell electricity,” Kubilius told the reporters after the meeting of Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant (VAE) commission on Friday.

“Progress is good; there are challenges that we have to overcome. We consistently move ahead while holding discussions with both regional partners and strategic investors,” Kubilius added.

In earlier plans, the government and Hitachi intended to complete their talks in mid-February and sign a concession agreement. The agreement and accompanying bills will be submitted to the Parliament to be debated in spring session this March.

Unofficial sources claimed that talks could be completed in the second half of February. However, it is possible that final agreement will be reached only after a meeting of the three Baltic prime ministers, which scheduled for 6-9 March, according to information available to BNS.

In December, the Lithuanian government and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy signed a deal on basic terms for the concession agreement. This allowed signing certain interim documents with the strategic investor and continuing to work on drafting the concession agreement and other key documents, including shareholders' agreement.

Officials said at the time that the government expected to draft the concession agreement in early 2012 and sign the document by the end of June. If it gets approved by the Parliament, then, they said, Lithuania's Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant (VAE), Latvenergo, Eesti Energia and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy would sign a shareholders agreement.

Lithuania is holding talks with Hitachi and the Latvian and Estonian energy companies on investing into Visaginas plant. Poland pulled out of the project last year.

Visaginas nuclear power plant is estimated to cost up to 5 billion euros to build. Lithuania expects to have the facility operating by 2020.

BNS
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