Lithuania, facing energy crunch, may extend use of controversial Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant

Publish date: October 9, 2008

Lithuania may extend the use of its Ignalina nuclear power plant until 2012 if the EU fails to provide an alternative action plan for its shutdown, the economy minister said on Thursday, according the Baltic News Service.

Vytas Navickas told the Baltic News Service that if the country’s energy problems on a replacement for the Ignalina plant go unresolved then Lithuania may be forced to extend the use of the nuclear plant. Lithuania is expecting the EU to come up with an action plan by December 2008.

"Unless the energy security problems Lithuania would face after closing the Ignalina plant at the end of 2009 are solved, we will not approve the climate change program," Navickas told BNS, adding the country was seeking around 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in financial aid and higher emission quotas.

Lithuania was given EU membership in 2004 on condition the NPP was shut down in 2009. It is also committed to cutting emissions by 20% in line with all EU countries.

The replacement for Ignalina which is due to be built as part of a $3-4 billion joint project with Poland, Estonia and Latvia is unlikely to be ready before 2015. Lithuania is reluctant to close the plant and increase its reliance on Russia for energy.

Alongside Sunday’s general election in Lithuania, voters will be asked to take part in a referendum on whether to extend the life of the NPP, which provides around 6o percent of the country’s power, RIA Novosti reported.

More News

All news

The role of CCS in Germany’s climate toolbox: Bellona Deutschland’s statement in the Association Hearing

After years of inaction, Germany is working on its Carbon Management Strategy to resolve how CCS can play a role in climate action in industry. At the end of February, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action published first key points and a proposal to amend the law Kohlenstoffdioxid Speicherungsgesetz (KSpG). Bellona Deutschland, who was actively involved in the previous stakeholder dialogue submitted a statement in the association hearing.

Project LNG 2.

Bellona’s new working paper analyzes Russia’s big LNG ambitions the Arctic

In the midst of a global discussion on whether natural gas should be used as a transitional fuel and whether emissions from its extraction, production, transport and use are significantly less than those from other fossil fuels, Russia has developed ambitious plans to increase its own production of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the Arctic – a region with 75% of proven gas reserves in Russia – to raise its share in the international gas trade.