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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

15 Firms Line Up for Lithuania Power Sell-Offs

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Lithuania’s plan to privatize two power plants and distribution networks has drawn interest from 15 international firms, the country’s Economics Ministry officials said.

Lithuania is laying the groundwork to split Lithuanian Energy, an 86.2 percent state-owned vertically integrated power company, into separate generation, transmission and distribution companies.

Earlier this month Lithuania called for expressions of interest in the sale of two electricity generating plants and the power distribution networks of the state-run utility.

"It’s good news that 15 firms demonstrated their interest to participate in the privatization of Lithuanian Energy and those firms that meet qualification requirements will be invited to take part in the actual tender when it is launched," Deputy Economics Minister Vytenis Junevicius said Monday.

Elecricite de France, Germany’s RWE, Belgium’s Tractabel, Finnish group Fortum, Sweden’s Wattenfall, Spain’s Union Fenosa, Britain’s Cinergy and NRG Energy of the United States are among those that expressed interest in the sale, Junevicius said.

The government will put on the market at least 51 percent of its two electricity generating plants and the electricity distribution and supply business. Separate tenders will be held for its other operations.

Lithuania has said it wants to complete the sale of its power distribution network in the first half of 2001 with the privatization procedures to start in the coming months. No dates for the sale of the generation assets have been publicized.

Lithuania intends to retain full control of the transmission lines.

However, analysts have noted that the country’s Oct. 8 general election may delay the process.

According to opinion polls, Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius’ center-right government will likely be ousted by center-left and leftist parties, some of them fiercely opposed to selling controlling stakes in infrastructure companies.