The government of Lithuania and Hitachi Ltd have agreed the contractual framework for the Visaginas nuclear power plant project.

The concession agreement, signed 30 March, covers rights for the project company to design, construct, operate and decommission the plant as well as host country and investor rights and obligations. It also includes an agreed timeline for delivery.

The agreement has been under negotiation since a Hitachi-GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy consortium was picked as the strategic investor in the Visaginas project in July 2011 with its 1300 MW Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) design.

The concession agreement enables further design, licensing and site preparation activities to continue in the pre-construction phase, including commercial investment by the strategic investor (Hitachi Ltd) and other investors.

Over the coming weeks the concession agreement will be reviewed and discussed by the government before being submitted to parliament for a formal vote and approval in the spring session.

Lithuanian prime minister Andrius Kubilius said: “The Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant presents Lithuania and the Baltic region with a once in a lifetime opportunity to diversify energy sources and enhance energy security and independence as well as continue our integration into Europe.”

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