Friday, September 25, 2015

Lithuania takes symbolic step towards Europe's integrated electricity system

Lithuanian and Polish electricity systems have been linked together through the LitPol Link power interconnection across the border, announced Lithuanian power transmission system operator Litgrid on Thursday.

"The first transmission tower on the Polish side and the first one on the Lithuanian side are now physically connected," Daivis Virbickas, chief executive of Litgrid, told local media.

Connection of the first Lithuanian and Polish towers is a symbolic step. Some of the construction is to be done in coming months. Twelve towers are to be built and the last 20 km of wires are to be installed on the Lithuanian side in the last phase of the project, Virbickas said.

Rokas Masiulis, Lithuania's energy minister, said he was confident the power grid would be finished on time.

"Grid construction works should be finished in 40 days, and after less than 100 days, after completing the tests, LitPol Link will come into operation," Masiulis was quoted as saying in a press release after visiting the construction site.

Both countries have been preparing and developing the LitPol Link for several years. It is the first electric grid to connect Lithuania with the electricity infrastructure of Western Europe.

With a power of 500 megawatts, which covers 163 km and is worth around 350 million euros (395 million US dollars), the electric grid aims at ensuring Lithuania's energy independence and closer energy integration with European countries.

Masiulis said he expected electricity prices for consumers to decline by 7 percent and for the wholesale to decrease by 15 percent once the grid is launched.

LitPol Link and NordBalt, a 453-km-long cross-border electricity link being constructed to connect Lithuania with Sweden, have been named as the main priorities for the current Lithuanian government.

  Xinhua -

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