VILNIUS - Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Poland would like to have a 25 percent stake in a new nuclear power plant that is planned to be built in Lithuania, but Lithuanian energy officials said it was too early to speak about what share
Poland could be given in the project.
"We want to become a shareholder of the joint venture. Four countries, four equal shares," Kaczynski said during a news conference in Vilnius on Dec. 8.
The Polish premier described the decision as "an initial but very big step forward." He added that one of Poland's largest energy companies, Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne (PSE), could participate in the project.
Kaczynski also said that Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas had played a key role in persuading officials of the other two Baltic countries to bring Poland on board.
Kirkilas said that two nuclear power reactors should be built, rather than a single one, if Poland joined the project. Such an option would cost 3 billion to 4 billion euros.
"It is very important that Poland wants to accelerate the construction of the reactors so that to complete it before 2015. This idea is acceptable to all Baltic countries," he added.
However, Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) CEO Rymantas Juozaitis said that speeding up the construction was not possible because a feasibility study conducted by three Baltic energy companies had shown that it would take many years to build the reactor. "It has been only a month since it was started," he said.
Juozaitis added that they expected PSE to put forward concrete proposals within a week.
The Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian prime ministers said in Vilnius on Friday that they did not object to Poland's involvement in the new power plant construction, provided that that caused no pauses in the project.
Based on preliminary estimates, a new single-reactor nuclear power plant with a capacity of 800 megawatts or a two-reactor 1,600-MW facility would require between 2.5 billion and 4 billion euros in investment. The project could be completed in 2015, when an electricity shortage is likely to hit in the region.
In line with its EU accession deal, Lithuania closed one of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant's two Soviet-built reactors on Dec. 31, 2004, with the entire plant planned to be closed at the end of 2009.