VILNIUS – Alvora, a Lithuanian energy construction company on the law enforcement radar, has contested the government's decision not to clear it as the winner of a contract, worth an estimated 100 million euros, for building the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant's near-surface repository for short-lived radioactive waste.
"Having assessed all the circumstances, we have decided to file an appeal with the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court against the government's decision which bars Alvora from providing construction services to the Ignalina NPP," Martynas Pargaliauskas, the company's CEO, told BNS in a comment on Monday.
A governmental commission vetting transactions by strategic companies on August 24 did not greenlight Alvora's contract with the INPP. The government endorsed the commission's conclusion on September 13.
According to Pargaliauskas, Alvora is asking the court to annul the decisions of both the commission and the government.
The latter told BNS in early October that it did not approve the deal with Alvora because of national security concerns.
Sigita Gamuleniene, spokeswoman for the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, confirmed to BNS that the court received Alvora's appeal on October 18.
Pargaliauskas said that Alvora's proposal was around 9.2 million euros cheaper than that of Panevezio Statybos Trestas (PST), the other bidder for the repository contract.
Law-enforcement authorities are currently investigating whether Alvora, chosen as the Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania (GIPL) contractor several years ago, used Russian-made parts in the pipeline project.
It is suspected that Alvora found several European companies and used their quality certificates to disguise the fact that certain components had been made by Russia's ChelPipe and possibly already purchased by the Lithuanian company. Alvora denies the allegations.
The INPP says the repository will consist of three reinforced concrete modules with a capacity of 100,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste.
Waste will be placed in the near-surface repository throughout the decommissioning process until 2038. Afterward, the repository's protection and environmental monitoring will continue for at least 100 years.
The repository project is important to national security and its would-be contractor will have to be approved by the government.