Seimas approves law on nuclear project

  • 2012-06-22
  • From wire reports

VILNIUS - Criticism addressed at the Visaginas nuclear plant project, by mentioning just a single sentence without its context, is irresponsible and misleads people, said Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius in reply to statements that appeared in the media stating that the government is not acting responsibly in the agreements on the nuclear project, and that the public will not get an opportunity to become familiar with its details, reports ELTA.

“The texts are prepared by international consultants and the world’s best companies; they are based on so-called British law or London law, recognized worldwide. To take a single sentence out of the context and try to criticize it is not very responsible,” Kubilius said during an interview on the Lietuvos Radijas.
The PM disagrees with criticism that there is too little information about the project. He said that there is plenty of information, but understanding at least a little of it requires special knowledge. “I have been a politician for 20 years and have never seen so much information about any other project. The experts who work with similar information see that [too],” Kubilius said.

On June 19, after discussions, the Seimas decided to postpone voting on the concession agreement with strategic investor Hitachi in the Visaginas nuclear plant construction until the next sitting. Discussing other laws on the Visaginas NPP was postponed as well.

Despite the delay, Seimas returned and on June 21 approved the new law on the nuclear power plant in the final reading, which is a precondition for implementation of the Visaginas project. Seventy Seimas members voted for the bill, two voted against, and another two abstained. The voting took about thirty minutes.
Seimas had passed the bill in the second reading on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Seimas approved a concession agreement with Hitachi, another precondition for implementation of the project.

The nuclear project’s cost is estimated at 17 billion litas (4.9 billion euros). Lithuania will invest 6 billion litas. Construction of the plant is planned to start in 2015, and the plant is to be launched in 2020-2021.
It has been estimated that the plant’s power production costs will be from 0.07-0.1 litas per kilowatt-hour, plus construction loan servicing which will be 0.1-0.15 litas per kilowatt-hour. The loan is expected to be completely repaid by 2038-2040.

In December, Poland withdrew from the project; current members of the project are Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia together with a strategic partner - the Japanese company Hitachi.