The Lithuanian Government has opted for the Japanese-US corporation Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy to be the strategic investor in the planned new nuclear power plant project on the basis of its economical advantage. Hitachi indicated its stronger commitment to the project by planning not only to provide the necessary technology but also to participate in the development of the nuclear plant. The regional partners are to decide on their contribution to the project soon.
‘The Energy Ministry along with Hitachi aim to sign the concessional agreement by the end of the year and to commission the Visaginas NPP by late 2020. Hitachi has agreed to commence significant preparational work for the granting of the concession from this moment onwards,’ Lithuanian Deputy Energy Minister Romas Svedas said at a news conference on 14 July.
The company provided Lithuanian and regional partners with the figures which were ‘sufficient for us to properly assess the proposal.’ Mr Svedas also announced that the regional partners of Lithuania, including Latvia, Estonia and Poland are working with Hitachi to decide on their respective contribution to the project; ‘It will be decided now what stake each of the five partners will have in the project,’ he said.
‘The evaluation of each proposal to determine which was the most economically advantageous encompassed an analysis of the economic, legal and technical implications. Among other factors, it included a consideration of the level of equity commitment offered, the commitment to undertake activities to advance the project prior to signing the concessional agreement, evidence of ability to deliver the project on budget and on time, as well as evidence of ability to manage development, construction, operation and decommissioning of the Nuclear Power Plant,” the Deputy Energy Minister said.
During the visit of Hitachi President Hiroaki Nakanishi to Vilnius in June, he made it clear that the company would not be simply a technology vendor, but also one of the project‘s developers.