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Project Timeline

The Period 2006 – 2009

Project initiation. Beginning of regional cooperation. Establishment of a new nuclear power plant project. Beginning of required pre-development work. The selection process for a new NPP Strategic Investor began.

Chronology of the project development:

  • February 2006 - The Prime Ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed the Declaration on security of supply in the Baltic States and the Common European energy policy, and the Communiqué inter alia concerning the energy strategy of the Baltic States and the initiation of the plan to build a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania;

  • March 2006 – Companies AB „Lietuvos energija“, „AS Latvenergo“ and „Esti Energia AS“ representatives signed the Communiqué where they have acknowledged an importance of preparation of a feasibility study for construction of new nuclear power plant in Lithuania;

  • December 2006 – the Prime Ministers of the Baltic States and Poland signed a joint communiqué which acknowledged the importance of the interconnection between Lithuania and Poland and encouraged to start consulting with experts regarding the new NPP construction project;

  • December 2006 - Lietuvos Energija AB established a Nuclear Energy Department, which began the implementation of the technical preparatory works required for new NPP construction project;

  • January 2007 – Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) approved the National Energy Strategy where one of the national energy development goals is to expand the variety of primary energy sources by renewing the nuclear energy production and increase the usage of renewable and local resources for energy production. One of the main activities in order to implement this goal is to ensure the undisrupted continuity of nuclear energy development;

  • July 2007 – the Lithuanian Parliament adopted the Nuclear Power Plant law;

  • August 2008 - A new company called Visagino Atominė Elektrinė (VAE) was established. It continued the preparatory works initiated by Lietuvos Energija AB.

  • August 2008 – the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report was prepared; the process of harmonization was started in Lithuania and internationally. During public meetings the report was presented to the people of Lithuania and neighbouring countries. The report was also presented to 7 foreign states; cross-border consultations with institutions in Poland, Belarus, Latvia and Austria were undertaken.

  • April 2009 - The Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Lithuania took the decision that the construction of the new Visaginas NPP is acceptable in terms of its environmental impact. The Environmental Impact Assessment report was positively evaluated by the experts’ mission from the IAEA.

  • April 2009 – the Lithuanian government passed Resolution No. 300 which validated the new NPP project development and implementation direction plan.

  • September 2009 - LR Government resolution No. 1143 establishing a supervision commission for the implementation of the new NPP project in Lithuania was passed.

  • September 2009 – the business model and the financing plan for the new Visaginas NPP was prepared and presented. Considering the economic situation and the particularities of the development of NPP projects, a decision was made to attract a Strategic Investor with experience in nuclear energy and the development of NPP construction projects as well as funds to invest in the Visaginas NPP;

  • December 2009 – Strategic Investor selection procedure was officially started. The international invitation to investors was announced (in the Official Journal of the European Union).

The Period 2010-2012

Active cooperation of Regional Partners and European Commission. IAEA mission in Lithuania. The construction sites for the new NPP were prepared; the main technical preparatory works were completed. A Strategic Investor was chosen – the Japanese company Hitachi.

  • April 2010 – The initial indications of interest responses were received;

  • May 2010 – the detailed plan of the Visaginas NPP sites, which includes the sites for the construction and operation of the new NPP as well as the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, was approved;

  • May 2010 - The Joint communiqué regarding the integration of the Baltic electricity market with the EU energy market and the development of a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania was signed by four Baltic Ministers of Economy/Energy in the presence of the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger;

  • September 2010 – The Lithuanian Concession Tender Commission, which had been delegated to organise a tender for the selection of a Strategic Investor into Visaginas nuclear power plant, sent requests for Binding Proposal submissions to the potential Strategic Investors;

  • September 2010 – the EC-led High Level Task Force for dealing with the matters regarding the new NPP project was established. The first meeting of the Task Force was held in Warsaw;

  • November 2010 - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission, which evaluated whether the assessment of the new NPP's sites was conducted in accordance with its recommendations, arrived in Lithuania;

  • November 2010 - Two responses were received by the Concession Tender Commission from potential Strategic Investors; one of them did not meet the official tender requirements.

  • The other, which met the requirements, was submitted by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). But two weeks after the submission of a response KEPCO unexpectedly informed the Concession Tender Commission about its withdrawal;

  • December 2010 – the IAEA experts submitted the conclusion that the new Visaginas NPP sites were suitable for the construction of a nuclear facility;

  • December 2010 - The representatives of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland met with the European Commission in Brussels. The representatives discussed the progress towards the integration of the Baltic electricity market into the EU energy market as well as the development of the new NPP, which is needed to ensure the safety of the region's electricity supply. The participants reaffirmed their support of the construction of the Visaginas NPP in Lithuania and the intention to contribute to a stable and secure electricity supply in the Baltic region and to the implementation of the long-term goal – full integration of the Baltic States;

  • December 2010 – a decision was made to continue the selection of a Strategic Investor during direct negotiations;

  • By the beginning of 2011, the main works of the preparatory stage were completed, including the evaluation of the construction sites according to the IAEA safety requirements, i.e., the assessment of seismic factors, geotechnical and geological conditions, and the transportation routes of heavy and bulky goods; the radioactive waste management strategy was prepared; the possibilities to use the Ignalina NPP’s infrastructure and the possibilities for the local businesses to participate in the Visaginas NPP project were analysed, etc;

  • June 2011 – the proposals from potential Strategic Investors – the Japanese company Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy and the American one, Westinghouse Electric Company – were received;

  • June 2011 – the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the separate body of laws amending the laws regulating nuclear energy, which consists of 12 laws, thus creating a more efficient and transparent model for the licensing and granting authorization for activities in the nuclear energy sector;

  • July 2011 – Hitachi, Ltd with Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd was selected as the Strategic Investor for Visaginas NPP. Hitachi committed to starting immediately the works required for the preparation of the Concession Agreement. Hitachi’s proposal also included a nuclear technology – a 1350 MWe AWBR. Currently, it’s the only generation III advanced safety reactor technology that has been tested in practice, i.e., there are operational NPPs with this technology. The ABWR technology complies with the EU’s reactor safety requirements;

  • July–December 2011 – Hitachi and Visagino Atominė Elektrinė UAB specialists conducted the preparatory works necessary for the preparation of the Concession Agreement;

  • October 2011 – The European Commission has been formally notified of the Visaginas NPP project to under Article 41 of EURATOM with a positive response expected by February 2012;

  • December 2011 – the Polish energy company PGE withdrew from the Visaginas NPP project;

  • December 2011 – Exelon, the utility company with the largest number of nuclear (BWR type) plants in the United States, joined the Project. Its subsidiary Exelon Nuclear Partners will act as the Owner’s Engineer;

  • December 2011 – Lithuania and Hitachi signed an agreement regarding the main terms and conditions of the Concession Agreement. The Concession Agreement has been prepared in February 2012 and submitted to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania during its spring session for consideration.

  • February 2012 – Lithuania‘s Prime Ministrer Andrius Kubilius met with Japan‘s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda;

  • March 2012 – Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant Concession Agreement prepared and initiated;

  • May 2012 – the Government approved Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant Concession Agreement and other documents necessary for the Project development;

  • June 2012 – European Commission in line with the EURATOM treaty provided it‘s positive opinion on Visaginas NPP Project;

  • 21 June 2012 Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a new edition of the law on Nuclear Power Plant and the Law on Assuming the Essential Property Obligations of the Republic of Lithuania in the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant Project. By this law parliament approved:

    • Award of concession to the Project company;
    • Selection of strategic investor (Hitachi Ltd.) ;
    • Assuming the Essential Property Obligations of the Republic of Lithuania provided in the Concession Agreement;
    • Concession Agreement draft.

The Period 2012-up to now

Advisory referendum on new nuclear power plant in Lithuania. Resolution of issues raised by the investors and improvement of the project. Reorganization of the company developing a project. Review of national energy strategy.

  • 16 July 2012 – Seimas announcesd an advisory referendum on Construction of New Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania;

  • 14 October 2012 – at the advisory referendum that took place along with the elections to Seimas 52,9% of the voters participated. 35% of the voters were in favor of construction of new NPP in Lithuania and 65% were against;

  • December 2012 – taking into account the results of the advisory referendum and following the provisions of law On Referendum the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the resolution “On Implementation of Results of The Advisory Referendum on Construction of New Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania”, where it was proposed to the Government to develop and to provide to the Seimas a new energy strategy on economically optimal and consumer friendly electricity supply;

  • January 2013 – the Prime Minister formed a working group for the review of National Energy Independence Strategy in line with the Seimas resolution;

  • April 2013 – The Working Group made a conclusion on conditions for Visaginas NPP project continuation:

    • To ensure share of costs and division of responsibilities by legalizing participation of Regional Partners under the signed agreements;
    • Along with the Strategic Investor and the Regional Partners to ensure the maximal financing of the project  with the lowest costs from the international institutions and  export credit agencies;
    • To ensure continuous and comprehensive provision of information to the public on the project, taking into account that a project can be implemented only subject to national agreement on ensuring of rational, competitive, sustainable and perspective provision of electricity.
  • May 2013 – Baltic Prime Ministers during and informal meeting in Jurmala made a conclusion that the decision on Visaginas NPP project can be taken after all potential investors are assured of project’s commercial viability;

  • August 2013 – UAB “Visagino atominė elektrinė” reorganized to “Lietuvos energija”, UAB;

  • September 2013 – the Potential investors approved a position paper on viability of Visaginas NPP project where ir is stated that Visaginas NPP project can become economically viable if raised open issues shall be successfully resolved;

  • September 2013 - Lithuanian Government has endorsed a proposal on the highest level to propose to Estonian and Latvian Governments to establish Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian intergovernmental strategic electricity sector commission and to establish an interinstitutional commission in Lithuania for resolution of energy sector issues;

  • October 2013 – Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius met with Hitachi Ltd. vice president Koji Tanaka and discussed the cooperation with the investor;

  • November 2013 – at the meeting in Riga Baltic Prime ministers decided to resolve energy sector development issues at the Baltic Minister Council Senior Level Officials Energy Committee;

  • November 2013 – Environmental Protection Agency under the Ministry of Environment extended the validity of decision on Visaginas NPP Environmental Impact Assessmentfor 5 years;

  • December 2013 – Lithuanian government decided to compose a commission on resolution of issues related to electricity production sector, synchronization and market;

  • January 2014 – the first Commission meeting took place where a plan on further actions was approved and state institutions were assigned to evaluate the Visaginas NPP project open issues raised by the investors and to provide Lithuanian Government position on them;

  • March 2014 – political parties represented in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania signed an accord on strategic guidelines for the foreign, security and defence policy of the Republic of Lithuania for 2014–2020:

    • To implement Visaginas NPP project as early as possible under the funding and participation conditions improved as a result of negotiations with the partners aimed to expand the independent and competitive basic generation capacity;
    • The parties commit to the completion of the above project, to political support thereto and protection from attempts by any interest groups or third parties to discredit the Project.