Lithuania’s decision to prolong the term for signing the concession contract of the Visagina Nuclear Power Plant (VNPP) gives additional time to resolve the questions important to Latvia and Estonia, says Prime Minister of Latvia Valdis Dombrovskis.
Representatives of the Economy Ministry and Latvenergo informed the government on Tuesday, June 26, that negotiations are on-going. After receiving all the necessary information Latvia’s position remains unchanged – Latvia is ready to participate in the project, but what it important is the economic benefit, i.e. the price for electric energy, which is competitive on the Nord Pool Spot electric energy market, says the prime minister.
Latvenergo Director Aris Zigurs agrees with the opinion of the Prime Minister: if Latvia’s interests are not met, we can say “no” to the project. He revealed that this possibility exists, considering the current situation, when the project’s participants did not come to an agreement within the intended time frame.
He noted that the NPP project in the Baltic region is the most promising power project, which can provide the necessary power output. The power output of the project would be equivalent to a year power output of Riga TPP. Nevertheless, in the event of the project not being realized, Latvenergo would consider the possibility of investing in power production in Lithuania and Estonia using possible projects in Latvia: for example, by building new gas CHP and new plants with solid fuel.
In an interview to Lietuvos Radio on June 26, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius confirmed that the VPP concession agreement with the project’s strategic partner – Japanese Hitachi – will not be signed by June 28, as it was planned, because Lithuania first needs to finish negotiations with other possible shareholders – Latvia and Estonia.
«It was very hard to approve the necessary laws, state the concession agreement and confirm the necessary law amendments by June 28, so that the process would be legal and the project could continue,»- said the Prime Minister, answering the question why the previous scenario was changed and whether there are some disagreement with the strategic investor.
«The signing of the concession agreement is related to another important document, including the final coordination of the shareholder contract and the founding of the project’s company. To do so, negotiations with the rest of the shareholder must be concluded. So it is a good thing that the laws have been approved in time,»- Kubilius explains.
As previously reported, the concession contract with the project’s strategic investor was initiated on March 30. The contract provides for the main principles of the project’s realization. It also gives the NPP project company to project, construct and exploit the new nuclear power plant and, when the time comes, to close it as well. The Lithuanian Saeima approved the Nuclear Power Plant Law last week on the final poll.