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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lithuania Sees Nuclear Plant Open by 2015

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- The three Baltic states and Poland have agreed in principle to build a nuclear power plant in Lithuania by 2015 to ease their energy dependence on Russia, Lithuanian leaders said Friday.

"There is an agreement among Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland to secure energy independence building more than one nuclear reactor," Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus said.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said separately that a final deal to build the plant was expected to be signed by mid-2008, with a tender to supply the reactors due by early 2009. "Lithuania would have a 34 percent participation in the project, and we have offered our partners 22 percent each," he said.

Kirkilas said Lithuania was also interested in attracting Sweden and the Czech Republic to the project.

The three Baltic states initially said they would build an 800 megawatt to 1,600 megawatt plant for between 2.5 billion euros and 4 billion euros ($3.3 billion an $5.2 billion). It is now expected that the plant's capacity will be increased to 3,200 megawatts, bringing the cost to 5 billion to 6 billion euros, after Poland said it may join the project.

Poland was invited as part of a package deal after Warsaw agreed to build an "electricity bridge," linking the countries' power grids, Lithuanian officials said.