Lithuania-based energy company Ignitis Group has made a final investment decision (FID) on a project to expand the 900MW Kruonis Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant (PSHP).

The company will invest around €150m to expand the facility, which currently has four units with 225MW each, by installing an additional fifth unit with 110MW capacity.

Ignitis has awarded the contract for the deployment of the fifth unit to German hydropower specialist Voigt Group, which is expected to complete the project expansion by the end of 2026.

In addition, the company has approved a contract with German energy and infrastructure engineering company Fichtner for FIDIC engineering and maintenance services.

Ignitis, in its statement, said: “The new unit, which is the object of the contract, will have a wider range in generation mode compared to the previously planned unit, starting from 0MW instead of 44MW, and in pump mode, it will be able to draw as low as 59MW, while the previously planned unit had a minimum threshold of 77MW.

“The wider operational range of the new unit is especially relevant in the context of the rapid development of renewable energy sources as the demand for balancing services is growing.

“The wider parameter range of Kruonis PSHP’s 5th unit will significantly contribute towards the energy independence of the region, help ensure the development of renewable energy sources and the reliability of the energy system.”

Currently, Kruonis PSHP has four units with a combined capacity of 900MW, and the new 110MW unit will increase the facility’s total capacity to 1,010MW.

Ignitis will receive returns on the new fifth unit at Kruonis PSHP in a range of high single-digit to low double-digit on a levered equity basis.

The Commission for Coordination of Protection of Objects of Importance to Ensuring National Security has screened and concluded that the companies that won the contracts and the planned transactions are in the best interests of national security.

Earlier this month, Ignitis signed an agreement to procure €100m credit facility from Citibank London Branch to manage its working capital needs.