TALLINN - Estonian and Finnish main electricity transmission system operators Fingrid and Elering became equal owners of the Estonia-Finnish submarine electricity cable Estlink 1 as of Dec. 30, reports Public Broadcasting. Up till now, the two companies had rented the cable from its previous owners, who included Estonia’s state-owned energy giant Eesti Energia.
Elering’s board chairman Taavi Veskimagi said that the purchase of Estlink 1 is the last step for Elering in the final acquisition of transmission grid property from Eesti Energia.
A sales contract was concluded for purchasing Estlink 1 on Nov. 27. The total cost of the sales transaction was 77.6 million euros. Earlier, the assets of Estlink belonged to the public limited liability company Nordic Energy Link and its subsidiary N.E.L. Finland Oy. The shareholders of Nordic Energy Link were Eesti Energia (holding 39.9 percent), Latvenergo (25 percent), Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba (25 percent), and Finestlink (10.1 percent).
The plan to sell Estlink 1 to the main transmission system operators by the end of 2013 was already made upon making the investment decision; the need for this arises from the European Union regulation on transnational energy trading. The regulation included a terminal exception for founding Estlink 1 by electricity producers, valid until the end of 2013.
Estlink 1 is the first connection between the electrical networks of the Baltic and Nordic countries, active since the end of 2006. The Estlink 1 cable was established by Eesti Energia, Latvenergo from Latvia, Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba from Lithuania, and Finestlink (joint company of Pohjolan Voima and Helsingin Energia) from Finland.
The transmission capacity of Estlink 1 is 350 MW. The total length of the cable is 210 kilometers (two 105 kilometer long parallel cables), of which 148 kilometers are under the sea and 62 kilometers on the mainland. In the deepest spot, the cable is 100 meters deep on the seafloor.