Parliamentary blessing for Visaginas

25 June 2012

Lithuania's parliament has approved new laws on the proposed Visaginas nuclear power plant, clearing the way for the establishment of the project development company and the signature of contracts.

Visaginas graphic_450
How Visaginas, adjacent to the existing Ignalina site, could look

In passing new laws on the nuclear power plant and on the granting of the concession for the project, members of parliament have endorsed both the construction of the new plant and its siting in the Visaginas municipality. They have affirmed their approval of Hitachi as the strategic investor for the plant and that the project will be based on Hitachi-GE advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) technology.

Together, the two laws will allow commercial investors including Hitachi and regional partners to conclude discussions on setting up the project company to build the plant, and to sign the necessary agreements. Visaginas is a joint project supported by the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and investors from all three countries - Visagino Atominė Elektrinė (VAE) (Lithuania), Latvenergo (Latvia) and Eesti Energia (Estonia) - are to take shareholdings in the plant alongside Hitachi's 20%.

Once it has been granted the concession, the project company will then be able to sign an engineering, procurement and construction (EP&C) contract with Hitachi-GE, so that design work can begin. Construction would begin after the final investment decision, which is expected in 2015. Under the terms of the laws, Lithuania's property obligations regarding the plant would also need to be approved by parliament after the final investment decision is made.

Members of the Seimas, Lithuania's parliament, adopted the draft law on the nuclear power plant by 70 votes in favour with 2 against and 2 abstentions. The Seimas also adopted a protocol resolution proposing that residents living within 50 km of the plant could receive electricity discounts of up to 50% off standard rates. The laws must also be signed by the Lithuanian president before they can come into effect.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News