Lithaunia nuclear project smaller than planned

Thursday, September 18, 2008

VILNIUS, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The company leading work on Lithuania's new $10 billion nuclear power station said on Thursday it would target capacity of 2,200 megawatts, lower than originally forecast.

A draft environmental impact study said the plant could be built to generate up to 3,200-3,400 MW, accommodating the demands of project partners Poland, Latvia and Estonia, all keen to lessen their dependence on Russian energy supplies.

"Our plans envisage that we will have 51 percent in two reactors," said LEO LT chief executive Rymantas Juozaitis, referring to Lithuania's share of the output.

"Each reactor is calculated to be 1,100 megawatts," added Juozaitis, who was speaking after the company presented its strategy to Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas.

Poland said it wanted no less than 1,000 megawatts, while Latvia and Estonia eyed 400-600 megawatts each.

"We have to wait two years and see what the final capacity of the plant is to be, and what reactors we are going to have ... We don't know if the Poles will still be eager to get 1,000 megawatts then," Juozaitis said.

A tender for the reactors was due in 2010, said LEO LT board member Saulius Specius.

He said the planned capacity matched reactors made by Westinghouse, which is owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp, but that the tender would decide the contract. French group Areva, General Electric and Canadian AECL have also expressed an interest, the government has said.

Juozaitis said the first unit was expected to be built by 2016-2018, and the second one two years later.

He said the calculation of cost was made on the assumption that one kilowatt of capacity costs 3,000 euros. The total cost would be 25 billion litas ($10.28 billion).

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