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Latvia Expects to Get 15-20% Stake in Lithuanian Nuclear Plant

Latvia wants to take a stake of between 15 percent and 20 percent in a nuclear power plant being planned for construction in neighboring Lithuania, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis.

“Our intention is to be a part of this project, and right now we are discussing on a technical level on what share exactly in the project we will take,” Dombrovskis said in an interview in Riga today. “I would expect it to be somewhere of the range of 15 percent to 20 percent.”

Lithuania is planning to build a new atomic plant in Visaginas by 2020, together with Latvia and Estonia and a strategic investor, Hitachi Ltd., Japan’s second-largest builder of nuclear reactors. Lithuania wants to control at least 34 percent of the plant, while the three other partners would split the rest.

Lithuania agreed on the guidelines of a preliminary agreement with Hitachi today, which will provide technology and financing for the facility.

“I would say that we are making good progress with this project and we are looking forward to signing this agreement and actually implementing this project,” Dombrovskis said.

Hitachi will sign the final contract to begin building the 400 billion-yen ($5.1 billion) project next year, company President Hiroaki Nakanishi said on Dec. 20. The plant will be built by Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd., a venture with General Electric Co.

PGE, Poland’s largest utility, dropped plans on Dec. 9 to join building the power plant in Lithuania as it focuses on other investment projects.

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