Litgrid sets zero capacity for commercial electricity flow Belarus after Astravets NPP starts generating electricity

Date

2020 11 03

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Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid, while implementing the Law on Necessary Measures to Protect Against Unsafe Threats of Nuclear Power Plants in Third Countries, has set zero capacity for commercial electricity flow from Belarus.

Litgrid System Control Center, today, 3rd November 2020  11:06 am  recorded the data showing electricity production at the Astravets Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), from 11:38 am and set a 0 MW capacity for commercial electricity flow from Belarus. This is the measure taken to fulfill the  requirements of the Law on Necessary Measures to Protect Against Unsafe Threats of Nuclear Power Plants in Third Countries. 

With the zero capacity, electricity market participants will not be able to trade commercial electricity exchanges between Belarus and Lithuania. The TSO has already informed the participants of the Nord Pool power exchange about the changes.

"The position of Lithuania on the Astravets NPP, which is a geopolitical project of Russia on the land of Belarus, is consistent, stable and  written in law - it is a threat to our national security and our citizens. After recording the start of electricity production in this unsafe power plant, our transmission system operator immediately implemented the requirement established by the law – it completely blocks access to the Lithuanian market through Lithuania-Belarus border and prevents the use of Lithuanian electricity infrastructure for the needs of Astravets NPP. These national measures ensure that Astravets NPP electricity is not traded on our market, but no less important are the regionally achieved solutions to prevent Astravets NPP electricity from entering the Baltic electricity market, and the EU must play a critical role in nuclear safety, ” says the Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

"Following  the law, from the start of operations of Astravets NPP, Litgrid will not provide Belarus with an emergency power reserve, which is in the hydro storage capacity at the Kruonis power plant. Currently, there is no automation that could activate the units of the Kruonis Hydro Accumulation Power Plant to be used for Astravets NPP for managing  congestion in the grid. We continue to monitor the situation and are ready to take the necessary steps to ensure the reliability of the Lithuanian electricity system, ”says Giedrius Radvila, Director of the System Management Department at Litgrid.

In July 2020, Litgrid informed the TSO’S, the other parties to the BRELL agreement, including the Belarus TSO, about the exit from the emergency reserve agreement. Lithuania will use the capacity of the Kruonis Hydro Accumulation Power Plant for its local needs, also will use interconnections with Poland and Sweden and balancing capacities in the balancing market of the Baltic States.

According to the analysts at Litgrid , electricity imports from Belarus in the first half of this year amounted to 0.3 TWh or about 5 % of all electricity imported. Lithuania imports majority of electricity from Sweden - in the first half of the year, imports reached 45%.
The Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian electricity systems will be physically separated from Belarus and Russia in 2025, following the implementation of synchronization with the continental European grid. A quarter of all scheduled synchronization work is currently completed. In October 2020, the European Commission allocated record funding for the second phase of synchronization of the Baltic States with the networks of continental Europe - 720 million Eur.