Lietuvos Energija Co. will tighten up purchases

  • 2000-01-20
Vilnius (ELTA) - National energy distributor Lietuvos Energija,
worried about the growing number of non-ferrous metals thefts from
energy projects, asked the government to impose tougher control of
non-ferrous metals purchase shops, as was done in 1996.

Lietuvos Energija has turned to several ministries - economy,
interior ministries - as well as the state security department
complaining about non-ferrous metals thefts at energy installations,
with power transmission lines and transformer substations suffering
the most loss.

Last year the number of such thefts amounted to 394, up by 165
percent from 238 registered in 1998. Thieves have stolen 72.6 tons of
wire, dismantled 61 transformers. Total loss brought by thieves
amounted to 1.77 million litas ($442,000 million), rising from about
1 million litas in 1998.

Lietuvos Energija experts said that the number of non-ferrous metals
thefts started to grow in 1997, when the government dropped its
requirement to examine company purchasers, if doubts about aluminum,
steel, copper or their scrap origin or legitimacy of their purchase
occurred. The company, seeking to reduce the number of thefts,
started to dismantle electric lines and non-operating transformers,
arranging extra locks other precautionary measures; however, they
proved to be not enough, Lietuvos Energija said, noting that the only
way to prevent the situation is tougher non-ferrous metals purchase