Power bridge to link Lithuania with Sweden
As the BNS informed The prime ministers of the three Baltic countries agreed in Vilnius on 27th of April that an undersea power cable Swedlink would be built between Sweden and Lithuania.
Lithuanian, Latvian and Swedish energy companies should have equal shares in the project.
This is envisaged in a joint declaration signed by the three prime ministers.
According to the declaration, the decision was made in view of the progress achieved and of technological, financial and economic aspects.
“The Baltic countries have proved once more that they are capable of finding the solutions acceptable to all parties in pursuit of a common objective,” Lithuania’s PM Andrius Kubilius said to the BNS.
According to him, the route of the cable was not that important with the common Baltic market in place. The most important was to implement the project as soon as possible, he said. “This is a common interest of all three Baltic countries. Today’s agreement will benefit all countries involved in the project.”
European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomed the agreement.
“I welcome this agreement. The new link will provide a framework for the Baltic and Nordic countries to trade in electricity. This is the first specific result of work undertaken by a high-level group on the connection of energy networks of the Baltic Sea countries formed by Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso last October,” he said.
Matthias Ruete, the Director General for Energy and Transport of the European Commission, told BNS on Monday that the integration of the Baltic markets was the most important thing, more important than the route of the cable.
“The most important thing is the market integration. The security of energy supply is relevant for all countries, hence this issue cannot be solved for the benefit of one country at the expense of the others,” he said.
The Prime Ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia also agreed to establish an open and transparent common Baltic electricity market based on Nordpool – the Nordic electricity market – model by 2013 at the latest.
“The creation of electricity market shall be launched with no delay, we shall bring the dominance of energy monopolies to a halt. Here, in Lithuania, we shall initiate actual, and not “paper” actions for the creation of electricity market immediately. We are already behind Latvia, which has advanced well in this regard. Free electricity market means functioning competition, a possibility for all users to choose an electricity supplier instead of buying electricity from one supplier, as it is now. The experience of Nordic countries shows that it will be advantageous for electricity users since competition will bring the prices of electricity down,” Kubilius said.
After the approval of economic recovery action plan by the European Parliament and the Council, the EU would be ready to allocate significant financial support of 175 million euros (LTL 604 mln) for this project, Piebalgs said. As outlined in the declaration, alongside the construction of the power link those funds would also be used for the improvement of transmission grids in the western part of Latvia.
The declaration also highlights the need to support preparatory works for the building of a power link between Lithuania and Poland and continue cooperation on the implementation of new Lithuania’s nuclear power plant.
As agreed by the Baltic Prime Ministers, a joint application for the EU funds would be submitted by May 15 and a study of the seabed would be conducted in summer. As projected, the power link with Sweden could be built in four or five years.
The participants of Vilnius conference also discussed other relevant regional energy issues.