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Synchronization could cost Lithuanian consumers no more than NordBalt

  • 2019-01-10
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas expects that the Baltic power grids' synchronization with the continental European system will not cost Lithuanian consumers more than the NordBalt power link with Sweden, saying efforts are being made to secure the highest possible EU funding for the project. 

"We are making every effort to get the maximum funding from the European Union, which means that the implementation of the entire project would cost our consumers no more than the NordBalt interconnection," Vaiciunas told reporters after meeting with Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, on Wednesday. 

"We are speaking about (an additional) 0.2 euro cents (to the electricity price)," he added. 

The European Commission is expected to announce in early February its decision on EU funding for the first stage of the synchronization project, which is estimated to cost 1.5 billion euros in total.

The three Baltic countries are asking for 432.5 million euros in funding for this stage of the project. The EU is expected to cover 75 percent of the cost.

"We have to work in a focused and intensive way to secure the maximum EU funding rate for other parts as well, including the submarine cable, which will probably cost the most," Vaiciunas said.   

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia plan to synchronize their power grids with the European system by 2025. 

Under the plan, the synchronization will take place via the existing Lithuanian-Polish LitPol Link and a new submarine cable between the two countries.

The Baltic grids are still part of the post-Soviet BRELL ring, which also includes Russia and Belarus, and remain dependent on the control center in Moscow and the Russian electricity system.