Construction of a nuclear power plant in Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad (Baltic NPP) was a political project, Aleksandras Abišala, Lithuania’s ex-prime minister and now a management adviser, believes.
“I think this case had double meaning – to put pressure so as to prevent the construction of a power plant [a nuclear power plant in Visaginas, Lithuania] and for the power grids of the Baltic countries not to synchronize with the European Union. Now they have confirmed that formally although it was already clear six months ago or even before that that the construction in Kaliningrad is being put on hold. I’m quite scared by that since it would kind of show that the Russians understand that we will no longer build our own power plant. It can hardly be explained in any other way. Or it simply took too long and it was no longer possible to pay for demonstration that something is going on,” he told BNS.
“Putting everything together, they confirmed what was already clear long ago. However, I don’t know why they decided not to wait until it became formally clear that we would not build a nuclear power plant in Visaginas,” he added.
However, Abisala believes that Russia’s decision to stop the construction of the Baltic NPP would not affect the project of the nuclear power plant in Visaginas.
“I think it cannot have any effects on the decision [on Visaginas’ facility]. It was always clear that there won’t be any nuclear power plant there [in Kaliningrad],” he told BNS, adding that the project of the Baltic NPP had no economic prospects in particular as the region of Kaliningrad had sufficient generation capacities.
Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovič told BNS through his adviser that he would not make any comments about the nuclear facility project in Kaliningrad, saying it was unofficial information.
Russia’s business paper Kommersant reported last week that Russia had scrapped plans to build a nuclear power plant in Kaliningrad. According to the report, Russia’s government had dropped the plan to build a small to mid-capacity nuclear power facility in the exclave and was now considering options to build gas or coal-fired power plants.
Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom stated last December that the decision on the construction of a smaller capacity nuclear power plant in the region would be taken in the first half of this year.
Russia planned to build a 2,300 MW export-oriented nuclear power plant in the region of Kaliningrad by 2017. However, with export plans gone sour, Moscow admitted last summer that the project was put on hold while the authorities were discussing an option to build a smaller capacity facility.