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Lithuanian energy head blasts Latvian-Estonian plans

  • 2000-05-25
VILNIUS (BNS) - The chairman of the board of power company Lietuvos
Energija has sharply criticized plans for a possible merger between
Latvian and Estonian power utilities, saying that the neighbors
apparently envy Lithuania's progress in revamping its energy sector,
the press reported on May 18.

"This reminds me of political tricks - attempts by old functionaries to
maintain the old system," Vi-lemas, the chairman, was quoted by
Lietuvos Rytas as saying. A common system including
transmission, distribution and production is a bluff as vertically
integrated systems virtually have no chances to survive, he told the
daily.

Vilemas commented on plans by the Latvian and Estonian governments to
sign a letter of intent on closer cooperation between the power
utilities Latvenergo and Eesti Energia, including a possible merger.

Lithuania, which had lagged behind its Baltic neighbors for a long
time, has begun to reform its electricity sector and therefore it has
been left out of the planned alliance, he said.

"In Estonia and Latvia, nothing has changed - the same people, the same
managers, especially in the political structures and ministries. This
is simply an attempt to protect themselves from our reforms. They
cannot invite us as allies because our policies are completely
different," Vilemas said. The Lithuanian government has decided to
restructure the state majority-owned Lithuanian Energy by separating
its distribution networks and some electricity generating facilities.
The privatization of the spin-off businesses is likely to begin by the
end of this year.