Funding application for synchronisation submitted to the European Commission; project work not stopping, even during lockdown

Date

2020 05 27

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Today, the transmission system operators of four countries – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland – submitted a funding application for a total of EUR 1.2 billion to finance the project for synchronisation of the Baltic States with the Continental European Network. Lithuania’s share amounts to almost 40 per cent – EUR 462 million.

The four TSOs are submitting the application to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which granted Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia the maximum support possible for the first phase – EUR 323 million. At this phase, EUR 125 million has been allocated for Lithuanian projects.

This application marks the beginning of the second phase of synchronisation, which we are stepping into no longer as three countries, but as four – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. We have been laying the groundwork for this step for three years. The most important project for our energy independence is as close to the goal as ever, and has the highest level of EU, regional and national consensus and support. Of no less importance is the fact that work in Lithuania has not stopped, even during this difficult lockdown period, continuing in full swing and according to plan,” says Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

The lockdown, which has been in place for almost two and a half months, is not stopping the infrastructure work that is required for synchronisation. The government has approved 14 synchronisation infrastructure projects that have been granted the status of special national importance. 

Expansion of the 330 kV transformer substation in Bitėnai was completed in 2019. Construction of the 110 kV Pagėgiai-Bitėnai power transmission line is also nearing completion – this project will not only strengthen the Lithuanian power system on the Kaliningrad border, but will also lay the foundations for the integration of wind farms. Intensive work is under way around the capital, with three quarters of the renovation work on the 330 kV Vilnius-Elektrėnai Power Plant overhead power line already completed. The project for optimisation of the north-eastern Lithuanian electricity transmission network and preparation for synchronous operation with the power system of continental Europe is also nearly three quarters done.

One of the most important parts of the synchronisation project is the installation of synchronous condensers, which are designed to ensure the stability of the system. Three synchronous condensers each will be installed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Technical preparation for this work is under way.

The most important and largest synchronisation project is the Harmony Link submarine interconnection. Today, Lithuanian and Polish TSOs Litgrid and PSE S.A. signed a cooperation agreement for the implementation phase of this project, according to which both parties undertake to contribute in equal parts to the installation of Harmony Link. The total value of the project will be approximately EUR 680 million.

Preparatory works for this project are currently in full swing. The agreement signed today will ensure preparation for the procurement of project contract work.

Synchronisation is the most important Baltic energy security project and a priority EU project with a total value that is expected to reach EUR 1.65 billion.