Latvia may skirt Lithuania and buy Belarus NPP electricity – media

Since Lithuania is set to block the import of electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravets, Latvian electricity transmission system operator AST may start purchasing it, reports.

Earlier, Lithuania refused to buy electricity from the Astravets nuclear power plant, because it considers the station a threat to its national security. The corresponding statement was adopted in 2017 by the Seimas of Lithuania.

At the moment, electricity trading between the Baltic States and third countries is carried out only through the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. According to AST, when Lithuania-Belarus electricity trading is over, the Belarusian-Latvian border will come into play. The Latvian government has taken such decision in order to mitigate the risk of a possible reduction of the flow of electricity or negative fluctuations in tariffs, the company states.

If the scenario is successfully implemented, the Belarusian NPP electricity will come to Lithuania anyway, but the deal will be sealed by Latvians, Former Lithuanian Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas believes. In turn, Virgilijus Poderys, Head of the parliamentary committee on energy and harmonious development, admits that the Belarusian NPP electricity may enter the Baltic market and says that the news raises concerns in Lithuania.

Belarus nuclear physicist bluntly about Chernobyl, Astravets (ENG video)

The would-be Belarusian NPP with two VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 2,400 MW is being built according to the Russian project near Astravets in Hrodna region. The first power unit is scheduled to be commissioned in 2019, the second one — in 2020. The public keep being concerned over the unavailability of information about everything that happens at and around the site.

It is expected that the NPP will send its used nuclear fuel to Russia, but it will be stored in Belarus for about 10 years before the shipment.

Lithuania has repeatedly criticized the construction of the nuclear power plant and encouraged the rest of the countries of the United Europe to not buy electricity from the NPP. Belarus’ neighbour is not only concerned about the proximity of the station to Vilnius, but also with a number of emergencies during the NPP construction. Among the emergencies are a reactor vessel incident, when it fell during the transportation, the collapse of the concrete structure at the site between the reactors. Our channel was the first to report on the incident. Before the official request of the Lithuanian side, representatives of the Belarusian NPP denied this information.

See also