Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant shut down its only operating reactor for a two-month maintenance period on July 28. The shutdown of the second unit was scheduled to begin on July 29 and be completed on Sept. 26. The reactor should return to full capacity on Oct. 5. Viktor Shevaldin, the plant's managing director, said it was possible that the maintenance would be completed sooner than planned. Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), the state-run power transmission company, said that it would import around 1.19 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity from Russia to meet the country's needs in August-September. Another 190 million kWh will be produced by local power plants.
Spacecom, an Estonia rail operator owned by Russia's Severstaltrans, said it would convert a former auxiliary building of the Iru power plant into a depot. The cost of the project is 2 million euros, project manager Roman Ait said. Spacecom announced three tenders for contractors to build two branch railways, water and drainage pipes and heating-and-ventilation systems. These works will cost more than 15 million kroons (950,000 euros), Ait said. Earlier Spacecom renovated two branch lines and will add 367 meters of new tracks. "To build two additional branch lines, the existing ones have to be brought closer to one another for four tracks to fit into the available space," he said, adding that the depot will be fully ready by 2008.
Latvia's airBaltic said it wants to expand its operations to the east. President Bertold Flick said that the former Soviet republics are developing very rapidly and are attractive from a business point-of-view. "We are satisfied with the existing routes to Ukraine and Russia, so we are looking at other big cities in this region," Flick explained. He declined to reveal specific routes that the Latvian airline might launch. Flick recalled that during the Soviet era there were about 38 routes connecting Riga with cities in the former Soviet Union and said that the airline is currently restoring old business contacts on the routes that existed before Latvia regained independence. This summer airBaltic performs direct flights from two Baltic capitals 's 32 routes from Riga and 14 from Vilnius.