The concession tender commission of Lithuania’s ministry of energy has selected a Hitachi—Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy consortium as the strategic investor in the proposed Visaginas nuclear power plant. The strategic investor would take a 51% stake in the plant.

In June, the commission said that Hitachi and Westinghouse were two finallists who met stated requirements.

The Commission said that the Hitachi proposal was the most economically advantageous. The analysis included “economic, legal and technical aspects and, among other factors, included consideration of the level of equity commitment offered, commitment to undertake activities to advance the Project prior to signing the concession agreement, evidence and ability to deliver the project on budget and on time, and evidence and ability to manage development, construction, operation and decommissioning of NPP.”

Regional partners from Estonia, Latvia and Poland participated in the consideration of both proposals.

The Ministry of Energy and Hitachi are targeting to sign the concession agreement by the end of the year and to commission the Visaginas NPP by the end of 2020. Hitachi has agreed to start the significant preparatory works for the granting of the concession from now.

Hitachi offered a 1300 MWe Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR). If built, it would be Europe’s first ABWR, the first BWR in Europe to start since the mid-1980s (the last was Oskarshamn 3), the first European reactor for GE since Cofrentes (start of commercial operation in March 1985), and Hitachi’s first European reactor ever.

The Lithuanian ministry of energy said that environmental impact assessment and site suitability evaluations for the Visaginas project have both been carried out already, and have obtained positive IAEA evaluations.

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