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Lithuania’s former minister of energy: Visaginas NPP project dead

The project of the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is dead, says the author of the project, Lithuania’s former minister of energy Arvydas Sekmokas. In his words, the failed construction of the Plant proved that such ideas cannot be implemented at a regional level, BNS reports.

“Today we can speak of the Visaginas Nuclear Plant Project as if it was yesterday. Indeed, the project is dead today,” Sekmokas said.

“The first conclusion is that the regional model does not work for projects of such scale and complexity, it is simply not suitable. The second conclusion is probably what we are going to do with the energy generation – we are short of it. Electricity is like bread, like water. We cannot do without it. The third thing is where we are going?” the former energy minister said.

He admitted that the Visaginas NPP would not become an economically viable project now. However, it is not clear how the situation in the electric power market of Lithuania will develop and whether the prices will go up.

EADaily reported earlier that the three Baltic States agreed on the NPP project in Visaginas (also known as Ignalina-2) in February 2006. It was supposed that the new nuclear power plant with a generating capacity of up to 3.4 gigawatt will help Lithuania fill the gap in the energy supply caused by the closure (as required for the EU membership) of the Soviet-era Ignalina NPP (Ignalina-1). In December of 2006, Poland was offered to join the project with an estimated cost of up to EUR 5billion. The plant was to be launched in 2015.

Poland accepted the invitation, but set a range of conditions, particularly one-third of the plant’s capacities and connection of the power grids of Poland and Lithuania (actually the entire Baltics). Eventually, the sides failed to agree and Poland left the project. Another blow on the Ignalina-2 project was the advisory referendum in Lithuania in 2012 when two-third of the voters opposed the construction of the plant. At present, the project has been stopped, though the Lithuanian government members still speak about its possible resumption.

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