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Lithuanian government reconsiders nuclear plant

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Lithuania’s new centre-left government is set to reconsider building Visaginas nuclear power plant but continue to support a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, says PM Algirdas Butkevicius.

The previous government had sealed a preliminary deal to build a new nuclear power plant by 2020, but 63 percent of voters said “no” to the project in a non-binding referendum.

“Lithuania must weigh costs and benefits of all options to meet its electricity needs, including plans for nuclear energy. The (choice) of the best alternative should be based on cost and benefit analysis and to assure energy independence and the best price,” the new government said in a programme approved by the parliament on Thursday, December 13.

It should be added that Butkevicius had previously blasted the project as too expensive for one of the poorest member states of the European Union.

According to the Lithuanian Finance Ministry’s estimates, the total cost of building a new plant at 6.8 billion euros, with 4 billion euros expected to come from loans, reports Reuters.

However, the new government has supported previous plans to build an LNG import terminal by late 2014 to reduce dependence on Russia’s Gazprom.

The project is estimated to cost up to 604 million litas ($228.11 million) in infrastructure developments and 430 million euros ($560.72 million) for a 10-year charter of the FSRU, a business plan approved by the previous government showed.

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