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Polish government to back investors in Lithuania nuclear plant

The Polish government agreed to support domestic companies willing to join a nuclear-power project in Lithuania to help diversify the region's energy sources and reduce dependence on Russia.

Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas signed an agreement in Warsaw last night which officially „expresses the political will” to build a nuclear power plant at Ignalina, Lithuania, the Polish government's press office said in a statement. The accord „gives the full support of the governments for companies planning to joint the project,” the press office said. „This should also encourage our partners from Latvia and Estonia to give their go-ahead.” Under the agreement drafted in December, Poland will take a 22% stake in the project, matched by Latvia and Estonia, while Lithuania will hold 34%. The €4 billion ($5.3 billion) power plant at Ignalina will have a capacity of as much as 1,600 megawatts. The new plant would be the biggest nuclear-power project in eastern Europe since the Czech Republic built a plant at Temelin, which began operating four years ago. Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne SA, Poland's national power grid, plans to join the project, according to the company's December 8 statement. The Polish company will work on the project with Lithuania's AB Lietuvos Energija, Latvia's Latvenergo and Estonia's Eesti Energia. Poland is also still considering building its own nuclear plant, Kaczynski has said. (Bloomberg)