Nuclear tops energy agenda

  • 2012-08-14

TALLINN - Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts met with the Lithuanian Minister of Energy Arvydas Sekmokas on Monday to discuss energy projects that are common for the two countries, reports National Broadcasting. Lithuania is in the middle of negotiations on the Baltic nuclear power plant with both Estonia and Latvia, as well as with the strategic investor, the Hitachi group from Japan.

After Latvia had threatened to pull out of the project, Lithuania pledged to take into account the interests of all parties, but the construction of the plant is by no means decided as the Lithuanian Parliament decided to hold a referendum on the issue in October.

Minister Sekmokas assured during his visit in Tallinn that, currently, Lithuanians have a favorable view towards the nuclear plant. Parts remarked that if Lithuanians should refuse the plant, it would leave Lithuania largely dependent on imported electricity, and that is not good for the Baltic electricity market as a whole. He stated that if imported electricity has a relatively large market share in one country, it could reduce the predictability of the market and, thus, also the attractiveness for investments, and for consumers as well.

When asked about the progress made in the Baltic nuclear project, Parts stated that the negotiations phase is proceeding rather slowly. The two ministers also discussed privatization of the gas distribution grid, which has already started in Lithuania.