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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

There might be no new power plant in Lithuania - future energy minister said

This article, when I read it, was actually nothing unexpected. It just took some time till the Lithuanian officials admitted - there will be no new plant. For various reasons, both political en economic, the new station which was so much discussed recently, might never appear. While Russia is about to erect a station in Kaliningrad, so will Belarus, close to Lithuanian border. There will be a replacement - but not in Lithuania.

It reminds me of a classic Russian fable by Krylov about swan, crayfish and pike who tried to pull a cart together, but the problem was that they could not agree on the direction to pull... "The cart is still there". A plant in Lithuania was planned to be shared by 4 countries (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland). Finally, they all end up going their own way - Poland and Estonia wish to build own plants, and the new-Ignalina project slowly becomes a myth.

Future Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas doubts the erection of a new nuclear power plant. At the conference "Extreme Lithuanian Energy Status", he admitted that the new nuclear power plant seemed unreal. The future minister is concerned not only about reaching the agreement with Estonia, Latvia and Poland. According to him, the current energy situation in Lithuania is not satisfactory.

"I am not convinced that the nuclear power plant could be built. According to the documents that I have seen, an idyllic work of four countries appears to be the smallest problem," Sekmokas told.

Sekmokas stated that the previous Government did not taken any actions because it anticipated the upcoming energy crisis in Lithuania, though the gas terminal and the electricity link with Sweden was necessary to avoid the lack of energy in Lithuania, writes ELTA.

"Latvia blocks the wish of Lithuania to build electricity grid interconnection with Sweden and the construction of gas terminal is late for two years. In the best case, the terminal will be built only after 2012," the future energy minister feared. Zigmas Vaisvila, signatory of the Independence Act, told after the conference seeing no other option than to resume negotiating the extension of the operation of the Ignalina nuclear power plant.

"Today it has become clear once and again that Lithuania has no alternative after the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant at the end of 2009. I think that the European Commission must consider the negative situation in Lithuania and make correct conclusions," Vaisvila said.

Source: The Baltic Course

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