VILNIUS - A feasibility study for a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania should be completed by Nov. 1 this year, according to officials involved in the project. Latvenergo spokesman Andris Siksnis said that leaders of Baltic energy companies Latvenergo, Lietuvos Energija and Eesti Energia took part in a steering committee meeting in Vilnius on April 21.
The committee listened to presentations by four working groups in charge of technological and environmental, financial, legal and electric power transmission aspects of the project on the need for consulting services during the feasibility study.
"At its previous meeting, the steering committee outlined the objectives and plans but the feasibility study is complicated enough and very important for the region's energy sector, so internationally renowned consulting companies should be involved in its implementation," said Lietuvos Energija director general Rymantas Juozaitis.
Siksnis said that in early April potential consultants were invited to make offers. The project's financial and legal working groups have received six offers, and the technology and environment working group five.
In all, 17 consulting companies have expressed a wish to advise Baltic energy companies on the construction of a new nuclear power reactor.
There is reportedly only one Lithuanian company on the list.
The next steering committee meeting will take place in Tallinn on May 8.
The Baltic energy companies on March 8 this year signed a memorandum of intent about constructing a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania. A consortium will be formed to carry out the project.
At present, there is a nuclear power plant in operation in Ignalina, but its first power unit was shut down on Dec. 31, 2005, and the second unit will be fully closed in 2009. Closing the plant, which uses the Soviet-built RBMK reactors, which are perceived as unsafe in Europe, was one of the conditions for Lithuania's admission to the EU.