The Parliament has passed the Law on Synchronisation with the continental Europe

Date

2019 06 17

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On 13 of June, the Seimas passed the Law on connection of the Lithuanian power system to the synchronous grid of Continental Europe (hereinafter referred to as the synchronisation) drafted by the Ministry of Energy and related legal acts. The latter acts stipulate the principal conditions for organisation and implementation of the synchronisation process.

Synchronisation of the Baltic States is a strategic energy security project that, once implemented, will allow the network to disconnect from the Russian-controlled IPS/UPS system and for Lithuania to independently manage its electric power system. The updated National Strategy of Energy Independence has already the deadline set for completion of the Lithuanian energy system synchronisation project, i.e. by 2025.

'Disconnection from the Russian power system and synchronisation with the West is the most important strategic project for our region. It will allow to ensure long-term reliability and safety of the electric power system. Recently, we have achieved a breakthrough, and once the agreement on synchronisation with the grid of Continental Europe comes into effect in the end of May, real works of project implementation will commence. Therefore, the legislation adopted today are crucial for timely completion of the necessary infrastructure works and successful implementation of this project by the planned deadline of 2025', said Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

The Law stipulates the status of a project of special state importance to be granted to the synchronisation project and related infrastructural projects. This will allow to accelerate completion of territory planning procedures in the projects related to the synchronisation, to stipulate easements and to conduct environmental impact assessment procedures efficiently.

Competent institutions are instructed to issue permits for synchronisation-related projects, to coordinate the projects and carry out other procedures in a shorter than usual term.

The adopted legislation established the conditions necessary for smooth disconnection of the Lithuanian energy system from the Soviet BRELL ring (IPS/UPS system).

In June 2018, the agreement between the Baltic States, Poland and the European Commission was signed at the highest political level on synchronisation of the Baltic power systems with the grids of Continental Europe via Poland by 2025.

Last September, the high level group of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) approved the decision on the synchronisation scenario, by which the synchronised operation of the Baltic energy systems with the European grids will be ensured through the existing LitPol Link with Poland, additionally laying underwater direct current link between Lithuania and Poland and implementing other necessary technical measures.

In October 2018, Regional Group Continental Europe of the ENTSO-E (the European Network of Transmission System Operators) adopted a decision on expansion of the synchronised space of the European transmission systems to the Baltic States.

In the end of May, the power transmission operators of Poland, three Baltic States and operators of other ENTSO-E supporting countries signed the interconnection agreement and technical terms and conditions of interconnection, upon implementation of which – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will become a part of the European power system.

The first stage of implementation of the synchronisation projects has already financing secured. On 19 of March, in Brussels, the Baltic power transmission operators signed the agreement on financing of the projects of synchronisation with Continental Europe – under which, the European Commission  allotted EUR 324 million financing to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), thus ensuring maximum financing possible for the first stage of the project.

This first stage of modernisation and strengthening of the Lithuanian power system will receive three quarters of the funds needed, i.e. EUR 125.2 million. It is a bigger support than the total financing granted under this EU measure for all other energy projects by now – Klaipėda - Kuršėnai gas interconnection, gas interconnection Poland-Lithuanian (GIPL) and Lithuanian-Polish LitPol Link.