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Baltic, Polish energy companies agreed on atomic development venture

Energy companies in the three Baltic states and Poland agreed on Friday to set up a joint venture to develop a nuclear power plant in Lithuania, the Guardian writes.

The four countries have been negating on the project for months and hammered out a deal on Friday in Copenhagen. “The partners have agreed to Lithuania’s proposal to establish a joint project development company, in which LEO LT would hold a 51% stake,” Lithuania’s LEO LT said in a statement after a meeting.

Lithuania has said it wants to build a 3,200-3,400 megawatt nuclear power plant to replace its Soviet-era Ignalina nuclear facility, due to be shut down at the end of next year. Poland’s Polska Grupa Energetyczna, Latvia’s Latvenergo and Estonia’s Eesti Energia are joining LEO LT in the project. The project development venture is expected to be replaced at a later stage with a project implementation company, which will have a different share split.

Lithuania has said it would seek at least 34% at the new plant, with Latvia, Estonia and Poland sharing the rest. Poland has requested at least 1,000 megawatts, while Latvia and Estonia spoke of 400-600 megawatts. Lithuania, however, has refused to promise any output until it knows the results of environmental impact study on the plan’s maximum capacity. Lithuania hopes to complete the new plant by 2015, but analysts have said 2017-2018 would be more realistic. (Baltic Business News)