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Major new gas plant in Lithuania to replace lost nuclear power

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

Tuesday 23 October, 2012 will mark the inauguration of a new state-of-the-art combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) unit at Lithuanian Power Plant (LPP), with a capacity of 455 MW. The construction was successfully completed with a €71 million loan from the EBRD and a €168 million grant from the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund (IIDSF).

The new CCGT power plant will help Lithuania to make up for lost power generation capacity following the closure of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP), which accounted for over 70 per cent of the country’s total electricity output.

The new plant will drive forward important reforms in the Lithuanian power sector, leading to the formation of an open regional Baltic power market which is expected to become integrated with the NordPool market. In addition, operation of the new plant will result in a major increase of generation efficiency (from around 33 per cent for the old units up to 58.5 per cent for the new CCGT unit), plant reliability and availability, as well as a significant decrease in environmental pollution.

Dalius Misiunas, CEO of the national energy company Lietuvos Energija AB, said: “The EBRD and Lietuvos Energija AB have developed a strong relationship in the implementation of the environmental and related technical upgrade of LPP. The €71 million loan from the EBRD and the €168 million grant from IIDSF are important contributions towards the efforts by Lithuania to successfully complete the efficient modern CCGT power plant for both Lithuania and the Baltics”.

Nandita Parshad, EBRD Director for Power and Energy, said: “Increasing the generation capacity of LPP is a key priority for Lithuania and the EBRD is pleased to support Lietuvos Energija AB in the implementation of this strategic project. This new modern power plant will alleviate the impact of lost capacity in Lithuania and will support the creation of a secure and reliable power system in the region”.

Vince Novak, EBRD Director for Nuclear Safety, said: “The timely completion of this project demonstrates that the IIDSF is not only focusing on the decommissioning of INPP but also helping to make sure that LPP is transformed into a power plant which is capable of meeting upcoming requirements. I am proud this large project has been completed largely within budget and schedule.”

Peter Faross, acting Deputy Director General for Energy in the European Commission and Chairman of the IIDSF Assembly of Contributors, expressed his Institution´s satisfaction with the successful implementation of the project and reiterated the European Commission’s “commitment to assist Lithuania with the decommissioning of Ignalina as well as to further cooperate in the energy field, within the framework of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) and the Baltic Sea Strategy.“

The Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund started its work in autumn 2001. The EBRD acts as manager of the IIDSF. To date more than €750 million has been committed by the European Union, by far the largest contributor, as well as by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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