Synchronisation project to be given even more attention with the creation of a government commission


2020 02 13


Today, the Government approved the Report on Synchronisation of the Electric Power System with the Continental European Network, which outlines project progress and the key work done in 2019.  A proposal was also approved to set up a government commission which will ensure project coordination at the highest level.

The Government made the decision to establish the special commission in light of the importance of synchronisation and the complexity of the project, which includes not only development of the electricity transmission infrastructure, but relations with other countries as well. This commission will ensure smooth inter-institutional cooperation and coordination in pursuing the main goal: synchronisation of the Lithuanian electric power system with the Continental European network by 2025.

“Synchronisation of the Baltic electricity networks is a strategic energy security project that the Government has prioritised from the outset. The project has to be implemented quickly, and the work will be become more voluminous and intense, so political attention will contribute to ensuring that the work goes according to plan, and will facilitate closer cooperation and faster decision making,” says Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

In August 2019, the Government compiled a list of 14 synchronisation projects that were granted special national interest status. In September, it approved a plan of actions and measures for synchronisation of the Lithuanian electric power system with the synchronous grid of Continental Europe.

Work has already started on all infrastructure projects: in some cases, the preparatory and planning phases have begun, while in others, the construction phase has already reached the halfway point. One project has already been fully implemented. Expansion of the 330 kV transformer substation in Bitėnai was completed in 2019. Territorial planning has already begun in Lithuania for construction of the largest synchronisation project, the Harmony Link interconnection; the submarine cable route study has already been completed and preparations for seabed surveys are under way.

Intensive work was done in 2019 with optimisation of the north-eastern Lithuanian electricity transmission network and preparation for synchronous operation with the power system of continental Europe. More than half of all the planned project work was completed, including disconnecting and dismantling the most powerful thread linking the Baltic States to Russia and Belarus­ – the 750 kV inter-system power transmission line between Lithuania and Belarus. Two-thirds of the work involved in the reconstruction of the 330 kV power line between Vilnius and the Lithuanian Power Plant has already been completed.

Today, the Government also approved proposals to look for ways to apply more flexible procurement procedures for projects of special national interest, such as synchronisation.

In 2019, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia secured the maximum possible European Union (EU) funding – 75 per cent – for the first phase of synchronisation. At present, the Baltic States and Poland are working together intensively to prepare applications for the second phase of funding. These applications must be submitted by the end of May this year in order to secure the maximum amount of continued EU funding in a timely manner.

Synchronisation has also been recognised as a priority energy project by the European Commission.

The Baltic transmission systems have historically been developed and are still operating as an integral part of the IPS/UPS system, which is controlled centrally from Russia. After the accession of the Baltic States to the European Union, real opportunities emerged to integrate the Baltic electric power infrastructure, electricity market and management into the Western European power systems. Synchronisation of the electric power system with the synchronous grid of Continental Europe is a strategic energy project that will make it possible to desynchronise from the IPS/UPS system and ultimately ensure independent management of the electric power system in accordance with European system management standards.