OREANDA-NEWS. September 07, 2009. During his visit to Poland Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was accompanied by Sergey Kiriyenko, Head of Rosatom, a Russian state nuclear energy corporation. Presently, Rosatom is planning to build a nuclear power plant in Kaliningrad region and is inviting the Poles and the Lithuanians to take part in this project. Kiriyenko and the Deputy Economy Minister of Poland have signed an agreement for disposal of nuclear waste from the Polish center in Swierk.

— We had no time for negotiating the Kaliningrad project, a representative of the Polish delegation said.

However, Sergey Boyarkin, Vice President of Energoatom, Rosatom’s company directly responsible for NPP construction, has told us about the details of the project.

— We can offer Poland as much as 1,000MW out of 2,300MW, he said.

It is exactly capacity that has become a bone of contention in the Polish-Lithuanian negotiations on Visaginas NPP project in Lithuania. Visaginas was supposed to replace the operating Chernobyl-type Ignalina NPP. Poland, who is planning to build the plant, together with Latvia and Estonia, wants 1,000–1,200MW out of 3,200MW but Lithuania wants to build a smaller and cheaper plant. The global crisis has heavily shattered that country and has questioned the very sense of new NPP: the new President Dalia Grybauskaite says that the project must be reconsidered. 

— Lithuania will not be able to build an NPP on its own, it needs an agreement with Russia, the former premier of Lithuania Algirdas Brazauskas said a few days ago.

Even the director of Ignalina NPP Viktor Shevaldin is skeptical about the Visaginas project.

— Lots of partners and owners means lots of interests and contradictions. Three or four people are a good company for drinking vodka or playing cards but not for doing business, Brazauskas said.

He thinks that Lithuania must find a financial investor and build a smaller plant for its own needs. The Lithuanians promise to draft a new business plan by the end of this year but there have been lots of such promises already.  Poland will be able build its own NPP by no earlier than 2020 while the Russians are trying to temp the Poles with a low energy price.

— The energy that will be produced by the plant in Kaliningrad will be cheaper than the energy of coal or gas plants, Boyarkin said.

The Russian NPP is supposed to be commissioned in 2015. Starting from 2013 the Polish coal-fired plants will have to buy CO2 emission quotas: at first, partially, and starting from 2020 – on a full basis. As a result, the cost of their energy will grow by dozens of percents, which will make NPPs even more competitive.

— This plant is a very attractive project for our foreign partners, Boyarkin said.

Spanish Iberdrola is also participating in the talks. Some sources say that Swedish Vattenfal is also interested in this project. That company owns a fossil plant in Warsaw and supplies energy in Upper Silesia. However, Vattenfall’s media relations executive Mark Vadasz refused to comment on this news.

If Poland and Lithuania drop out of the project, the energy from Kaliningrad will be sold to our western neighbors.

— We are already negotiating with Gazprom for laying a cable to Germany along the Nord Stream gas pipeline.