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Lithuania Nuclear Plant Tender Fails; Korea Withdraws

Lithuania said its search for a strategic investor to build a new nuclear power plant failed after Korea Electric Power Corp withdrew its bid.

The government will continue to look for an investor to build a plant by 2020 through direct negotiations, Deputy Energy Minister Romas Svedas said at a press conference in Vilnius.

The Baltic nation’s government received bids from two companies to invest in the project by Nov. 10. One bid from an undisclosed company didn’t comply with tender requirements. Korea Electric Power submitted a financially “attractive” offer and the government was prepared to begin talks, when the company withdrew the proposal two weeks later, Svedas said today, adding, “it’s a pity that KEPCO dropped out.”

Lithuania plans to replace the Soviet-built Ignalina facility, shut last year to comply with European Union commitments. The closure pushed up energy costs and increased dependence on Russian energy. Lithuania imports almost 50 percent of its power, and Russian gas monopoly OAO Gazprom supplies all of its gas.

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