Lithuania expects Poland, 2 other countries to decide on nuclear plant by 2011.

By bne IntelliNews February 4, 2010
An agreement on the construction of a nuclear plant in Lithuania, binding together the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, plus Poland and a yet-to-be-chosen private strategic investor, would be signed 'at the end of this year or, in a worst-case scenario, early next year, Lithuania's energy minister Arvydas Sekomokas told the German Press Agency dpa. 'When the tendering process is over, all the regional partners, including Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Lithuania will sign a shareholder agreement on equal terms, he added. dpa reported that five companies remain in the running to build the power plant to replace the recently shuttered Ignalina facility. A Lithuanian commission responsible for choosing the winner of a tendering process, which began on Dec 8, has shortlisted five firms from the 25 tenders received, though no companies have been named for reasons of market sensitivity. A short-list of two bidders is due to be announced by mid-year, while the winner should by picked by the end of 2010. The successful bidder is likely to be offered a stake of 51% stake in the project, whose value is estimated at up to EUR 15bn. The Lithuanian government hopes the new nuclear plant will go online in 2018 to 2020. Poland's biggest power group PGE, which is designed to participate in the project representing the Polish side, has declined to comment explaining that talks are still under way. tom

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