November 11, 2010 / 4:19 PM / in 7 years

Lithuania deadline passes for nuclear plant bids

VILNIUS, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Lithuania said on Thursday that a deadline had passed for companies to submit bids to build a new nuclear power plant as a strategic investor and that it would look at the documents and make a decision next year.

Lithuania wants to build a new nuclear power plant by 2018-2020 to replace the Soviet-era Ignalina facility, shut at the end of 2009. It has esimated the cost at 3 billion-5 billion euros and aims to reduce its energy dependence on Russia.

The Energy Ministry said in a statement that Nov. 10 was the expiry date for bids to build the plant.

“The concession tender commission, which has been delegated to organise a tender for a selection of the strategic investor, met today and is currently analysing the documents that were received,” the statement added.

It said the government aimed to choose a strategic investor to build the plant by the end of the year and that talks would then be continued and completed in 2011.

The government had said earlier it expected large European utilities, such as Germany’s E.ON (EONGn.DE), France’s EDF (EDF.PA) or Sweden’s Vattenfall, to take part in a tender, however E.ON said in May it was not actively pursuing the Lithuanian project. [ID:WEA1630]

Lithuanian officials also visited a nuclear reactor site in South Korea this year, raising the possibility of interest from the Asian country in the project.

Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) (015760.KS) won a deal to build four nuclear reactors for the United Arab Emirates this year and is also aiming for a 40 percent stake in a planned Turkish plant. [ID:LDE5BQ05O] [ID:LDE66S27M] (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Anthony Barker) (nerijus.adomaitis@thomsonreuters.com; +370 641 913 86; Reuters Messaging: nerijus.adomaitis.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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