Lithuania eyes 4 suppliers for nuclear reactors

Monday, September 22, 2008

VILNIUS, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Lithuania said on Monday it will choose reactors for a new nuclear power plant from four suppliers, including French Areva and U.S. General Electric, but excluding Russian companies.

Lithuania aims to build a new nuclear power plant by 2016-2020 in cooperation with neighbouring Latvia, Estonia and Poland, with a tender to supply reactors to be launched in 2010.

"There are four suppliers -- U.S.-based General Electric and Westinghouse, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) and French Areva," Rymantas Juozaitis, the head of energy group LEO LT, told a news conference.

"All these suppliers work with us, and we work with them," said Juozaitis, whose company is leading the project.

"We think talks should be continued with these four suppliers, because they meet the technical requirements and our national security interests," added Saulius Specius, LEO LT board member, when asked about the exclusion of other producers, including Russians.

Lithuania wants to build a new nuclear power plant to reduce its dependence on energy resources controlled by Moscow, its former Soviet master.

LEO is eyeing capacity of 2,200 megawatts with two reactors, each of 1,100 megawatts.

Westinghouse, which owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp, produces reactors of similar capacity. Areva is developing one in cooperation with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

"These parameters (of 1,100 MW) correspond to Westinghouse reactors, but we have not chosen the supplier yet ... the future will show who comes up with the best offer and the best price," Juozaitis added.

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Sun, 2008-09-28 22:54

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