Lithuanian power plant invites bids to build new unit

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Lithuania's state-controlled Lietuvos Elektrine (Lithuanian Power Plant, or LPP) has invited international bids to design and build a new combined cycle gas turbine plant (CCGT) with a capacity of 350 to 450 megawatts (MW), the Economy Ministry said on Wednesday.

The project, worth an estimated 720 million litas (EUR 209 mln), is part of ongoing upgrades at the LPP, which will become the main generator of electricity in Lithuania after the shutdown of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) in 2009. The CCGT project will be financed from the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund, which is administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and other resources, the ministry said. The new plant will produce electricity at around half the cost of power generated by the existing units of the LPP.

The bidding is open to companies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the so-called PHARE countries and the EBRD's countries of operations. The deadline for submitting bids is Jan. 25, 2008. The contract is expected to be implemented within 28 months after the date it comes into effect. The invitation for bids has been published on the EBRD's website and in The Baltic Times newspaper.

The LPP, which is located in Elektrenai, halfway between Vilnius and Kaunas, plans to borrow 81.46 million euros from banks for the CCGT project. The combined cycle plant will be its ninth unit and will replace two old units. The new unit will use 30 percent less gas than the existing facilities. The LPP currently has a maximum capacity of 1,800 MW. It will have to guarantee a capacity of 1,500 MW after the Ignalina plant's closure. It has been reported that the total value of the Elektrenai plant's upgrade projects is about 252 million euros. The plant itself contributes 33 percent of the total upgrading costs. The EU provides 57 percent of the funding and the remaining 10 percent comes from the National Ignalina Decommissioning Fund. (EUR 1 = LTL 3.45)

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