RIGA - In an interview on Latvian Radio this morning, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) said that if Latvia's interests are not taken into account in the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant project, the country is prepared to say ‘no’ to the project.
Discussions on Latvia's participation in the project were started in 2006. Since then, Latvia's main condition has always been for the project to be economically beneficial. ''We have asked several important questions, but the Lithuanian side has not hurried to answer these questions,'' the prime minister said.
As Dombrovskis emphasizes, even though the Lithuanian side has proposed to coordinate the project's concession agreement with partners, Lithuania is moving forward with this unilaterally, ''and have not included the questions that are important to Latvia''.
''We are prepared to continue discussions, but if Latvia's conditions are not taken into account, we are prepared to say ''no'' to the project,'' Dombrovskis said.
As reported, it has been calculated that the total cost of the project will be EUR 5 billion (LVL 3.5 billion), but could increase to approximately EUR 6.8 billion when taking into account inflation and currency fluctuations.
It is likely that Latvian energy company "Latvenergo" could own 20 percent shares in the project, Estonia would own 22 percent shares, Lithuania 38 percent shares, while the project's strategic investor "Hitachi" would own 20 percent shares. Poland's participation in the project is yet to be seen. It pulled out of the project, but recently said it might reconsider.
According to current calculations, the construction of the nuclear power plant in Lithuania could be completed sometime between 2020 and 2021.