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Lithuania, Hitachi Sign Initial Agreement on Nuclear Plant

March 30 (Bloomberg) -- Lithuania signed an initial concession agreement with Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. for the building of a nuclear power plant.

The accord, which enables Hitachi to proceed with engineering and preparation work, was signed in Vilnius today, the government press office said in an e-mailed statement. Parliament must approve it before a final agreement is signed, probably before June 28.

Lithuania wants to build the plant, with partners in Estonia and Latvia, to reduce the region’s dependence on energy imports from Russia. Lithuania imports 62 percent of its electricity after closing the Soviet-built Ignalina nuclear plant in 2009 to comply with European Union rules.

The new reactor is likely to start operating between 2020 and 2022.

To contact the reporter on this story: Milda Seputyte in Vilnius at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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