Poland, Lithuania clinch power link deal

13 February 2008 - Poland and Lithuania have agreed to build a power link, setting the stage to proceed with delayed plans for a new Lithuanian nuclear power plant from which Poland would import electricity.

Under the deal, the two countries will form a joint company to complete the groundwork for construction of the link, which will cost an estimated €237m ($344.4m) and is expected to be built by 2012.

Wladyslaw Mielczarski, delegated by the European Commission to co-ordinate the negotiations, said the power bridge would increase Poland's energy security and prevent blackouts.

The Baltic states and Poland are negotiating plans to build the nuclear plant, which will replace one that Lithuania is obliged to shut down by the end of next year. The talks have stalled due to Polish demands for a third of the power.

"This is a great undertaking, which would guarantee Poland's power supply, especially for the northeast," Polish President Lech Kaczynski said of the planned power plant during the signing ceremony.

But Kaczynski, who was joined by his Lithuanian counterpart Valdas Adamkus, added that the new plant was not of key significance to Poland's energy security.

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