Power bridge project on the cards again

  • 1999-08-05
VILNIUS (BNS) - The Lietuvos Energija power company and the Polish energy supply company Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetychne may unite to build a power bridge between the two countries and connect the Lithuanian energy system with the European one.

They might set up a joint company that would engineer and construct an electric transmission line and would search for investors.

The cost of the project inside Lithuania could reach 720 million litas ($180 million), including the finishing of construction at the upper reservoir of the Kruonis hydroelectric dam. Cost of work inside Poland would be about 600 million litas, the daily Lietuvos Rytas reports.

The newspaper explains that without investors, this project will not come to fruition, but how the companies will attract foreign capital is unclear.

According to the new Lietuvos Energija plans, the country's energy production will be integrated into Western and Central European energy systems in three stages.

By the end of 2001, a 110 kilowatt line will be constructed from Alytus, Lithu-ania to Hancza, Poland. The line's capacity would reach 300 million kwh annually. By the end of 2002 there would be lines from Kruonis to Alytus in Lithuania and from Hancza to Elk in Poland. With the establishment of these lines, a few of Kruonis' turbines would be operating exclusively for Polish customers.

By the end of 2003, lines inside Poland would be erected from Elk to Olsztyn and Bialystok with a DC current input planned for set-up in Lithuania. The two networks of new 440 kw lines would conduct up to 6 billion kwh of electricity annually.

The government still has to approve the plan before negotiations can begin with the Polish energy company.