Power link inked "within days"

  • 2007-10-10
  • By Kim Kweder and Mike Collier

DYNAMIC DUO: Kaczynski (left) and Adamkus say they are ready to get their pens out (Photo: Mike Collier)

VILNIUS CONFERENCE -- Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus and Polish President Lech Kaczynski will sign an agreement on construction of a power bridge connecting the two countries "within days" they said Oct. 11.

Adamkus and Kacyznski made the statements at a press conference to closeat the Vilnius Energy Conference 2007.

"I have no doubts that Poland will keep together with Lithuania and will build. The agreement wasn't signed for technical reasons. We haven't constructed a company yet. We will not waste any more time. I have no basis for doubt whatsoever," said Adamkus.

The previous day, Adamkus talked about a signing session "before the end of the month" but less than 24 hours later, rumors were circulating the conference hall that a surprise signing session might even take place on Oct. 11.

Poland wants to use the link to deliver at least 30 percent of power produced by a new Lithuanian nuclear power plant, which is expected to produce 3,400 megawatts. However, with Latvia and Estonia also likely partners in the plant's construction, that would leave the Baltic states with a maximum of 23 per cent each. As the construction site, Lithuania may feel it would also be entitled to a 30 percent share of electricity, which would cut further the amount available to the northern neighbours to 20 percent each.

Professor Wladyslaw Mielczarski of the Technical University of Lodz, Poland, is the EU-appointed Coordinator of the energy bridge project, and was another speaker on the subject.

"The idea has taken 16 years without any practical results," Mielczarski said. "Such an interconnection will increase security supply in case of emergencies, increase competition in price, and reduce impact on the

The two main investors in the project are PSE (Polish Power Grid Company) and the Lietuvos Energija.

Poland, a 12-year member of the Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of Electricity (UCTE), agreed on consolidations of its power grid with the Baltic countries. Lithuania is not a UCTE member.

One of the main technical conditions for introduction of the UCTE system is for suitable upgraded cables and links to be put in place.

Mielczarski told The Baltic Times the UCTE system for exchange between Western and Eastern European countries isn't expected to be fully operational until 2025.