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GE interested in multi-billion euro Lithuania nuclear plant project – official

GE interested in multi-billion euro Lithuania nuclear plant project – official

VILNIUS (AFX) – General Electric Co has expressed an interest in a project to build a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania, officials said.

‘Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas today had a meeting with representatives of General Electric, who said the company wants to take part in the construction of the new nuclear plant,’ the prime minister’s spokeswoman said.

‘The prime minister said that an open tender is to be announced for the construction of the new reactor and invited General Electric to take part in it,’ she added.

The project concerns the construction of a new nuclear power station to replace Lithuania’s Ignalina plant, which uses reactors similar to the one that exploded at Chernobyl in 1986, provoking the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

Lithuania promised the European Union, which the Baltic state joined in 2004, to shut down Ignalina by 2009.

A recent feasibility study showed that a new single-reactor plant with a capacity of 800 megawatts, or a two-reactor, 1,600-mw facility would require an investment of 2.5-4 bln eur.

German energy giant E.ON has already expressed interest in the project, while France’s Areva group, Canada’s AECL, and Mitsubishi of Japan have said they are ready to supply nuclear technologies to build the new facility.

The electricity companies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania recently set up a working group with their Polish counterpart to discuss bringing Poland into the project.

A feasibility study conducted last year by the Baltic energy companies predicted the new facility would not come onstream before 2015.

If Poland is brought on board, the capacity of the plant could be increased to 3,200 Megawatts, with a corresponding hike of the final price tag, to 5 bln eur.

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