Nuclear power plant decision expected only in October

  • 2013-07-24
  • From wire report

MORE STUDIES: Though agreed last year, reassessment of the nuclear project means investors, and the public, are still waiting to see if the project will move ahead.

VILNIUS - During a meeting with Koji Tanaka, executive vice president of Hitachi Ltd. in Vilnius, Lithuanian Minister of Energy Jaroslav Neverovich said he appreciated the obligations of Hitachi as a strategic investor in the new nuclear power plant (NPP) project, yet he stressed that this project could be continued only after improving its economic conditions for Lithuania, reports ELTA.

Neverovich underlined that it was necessary to take into account the results of the referendum that took place in Lithuania and the findings of the working group on the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant project performance. The minister of energy also encouraged the Japanese company to assess all the opportunities for improving the economic conditions of the project.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius thanked Tanaka for Hitachi’s decision to be involved in the Visaginas NPP feasibility study and to wait until the final decision is made on the NPP construction.
Tanaka said in turn that Hitachi was in constant discussion with the Baltic governments and power utilities about the Visaginas NPP project, and confirmed that Hitachi was prepared to do everything in its power to improve the economic conditions of the project. The company is also ready to contribute to the development of the most up-to-date technologies in Lithuania and involve Lithuania’s society in the process, added Tanaka.

Also, a delegation from the Japan Business Federation Keidanren that was visiting Lithuania on July 18 inquired during a meeting with Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius about when the final decision on the NPP would be taken.
Butkevicius replied that the power utilities of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and strategic investor Hitachi would make it clear in the fall whether building the plant is economically feasible and what the new conditions of the project will be.
Meanwhile, Japan Business Federation co-chairman Shinichi Yokoyama said in an interview with Lithuanian business news portal that Japanese investors were running out of patience, and further delays by Lithuania regarding the Visaginas NPP project could damage the two counties’ relations.

According to Yokoyama, parties to the project had almost reached a final agreement, but this is where everything stopped, which us wrong and needs to be resolved.
Lithuania initialed the agreement on building the Visaginas NPP with the strategic investor in March 2012. The assessment of its economic viability is to be submitted to the government by Oct. 1.
Hitachi has already attended three meetings with the governments of the Baltic States, who are all involved, over the development of the Visaginas NPP project and has submitted recommendations for the implementation of the project.