Russia's Baltic NPP is not abandoned

16 February 2016

Russia's Scientific Research and Design Institute for Energy Technologies, Atomproekt (part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom), has announced a competition for the design and survey of on site accommodation units for the Baltic NPP in the Neman district of Kaliningrad region.

The NPP project originally involved the construction of two VVER reactors with capacity of at least 1,170MWe each, intended for commissioning in 2016 and 2018.

It was expected that the power produced by the plant would be exported to the surrounding region. However, in 2013, construction of the station was suspended when neighbouring European states made it clear that they would not buy the electricity. Rosatom then suspended the project in order to review its technical features, including the possibility of building small reactors at the site. Rosatom is continuing negotiations with European companies on the possibility of power exports, the project is being refocused on the plant's operation within the united grid of the Baltics and North-West Russia.

In July 2015, Anastasia Kuznetsova, acting economy minister of Kaliningrad said construction of the plant may be resumed because of plans to establish aluminium production in the region, adding that a Polish company considering investing in the aluminium plant could be a possible customer for the plant's electricity. In June the Corporation of Kaliningrad Region Development outlined a construction project for an energy-intensive cluster based on power supply from the NPP.

Last year a preliminary feasibility study for construction of an interstate electricity infrastructure for power transmission from the Baltic NPP was commissioned from SiltumElektroProjekt (SEP), an affiliate of the Latvian private company Siltumelektroprojekts, for delivery by the end of 2015.Also last year, Russia's Petrozavodskmash started making pipelines for primary circuit of the Baltic plant.

Rosatom's director general Sergey Kiriyenko has made it clear that, although the project has been suspended, it has not been abandoned. Equipment manufacture under existing contracts is continuing and the equipment is being stored in 10 special warehouses on the construction site. The site drainage system is already in place.

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