Foreign Policy 2016 01 26
Prime Minister Butkevičius: yet another historic step taken to strengthen energy independence
A. Mickevičius/LRVK photo
“Creation of a power interconnection with Poland, LitPol Link, and a power link with Sweden, NordBalt, is yet another historic step. It strengthens energy independence of Lithuania and the Baltic countries”, said Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius on 14 December during the official opening ceremony of LitPol Link and NordBalt power interconnections at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
We can state confidently that the Baltic, the Nordic, and the Central European countries have never before been so closely related in political, economic, and energy ties”, said the Prime Minister.
According to the Head of Government, shared success demonstrates that citizens trust the ability of the State to complete strategic projects. “And this is not only electricity. It is positive energy, which is necessary for the economic development and competitiveness of our states on the international markets. At the same time, it is energy to pursue the European Union objectives”, stressed the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Butkevičius has thanked partners in Poland, Sweden, and the Baltic countries, electric system operators, engineers, contractors, politicians, civil servants, as well as the European Commission for its assistance and commitment to support our regional aspirations for energy security.
According to the Prime Minister, projects of this scale prove that cooperation among our countries is particularly well-developed, of quality, and is based on understanding and commitments: this is the partnership that Lithuania fosters.
“Another strategic objective is synchronisation of the Baltic power networks with the grid of Continental Europe. Our Government will make every effort to implement this project by 2025. The Baltic power networks must become an integral part of the European grid. I invite colleagues from Poland, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as Heads of the European Commission to join our aspiration”, said the Prime Minister.
For the first time in history, the new 500 MW power link LitPol Link connects the Lithuanian and the Polish power grids, and creates conditions to transfer electricity from West Europe to the Baltic countries and back. The Lithuanian and the Polish transmission system operators Litgrid and PSE, respectively, have been pursuing the project since 2008.
A power cable NordBalt between Lithuania and Sweden is among the longest submarine cables in the world. The Lithuanian and the Swedish transmission system operators Litgrid and Svenska kraftnät, respectively, have been jointly running the project.
Both interconnections are part of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP). According to the plan, once the appropriate energy infrastructure is created in the Baltic Sea region, the next step should be synchronisation of the Baltic power networks with the grid of Continental Europe.
President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, Minister of Energy of Lithuania Rokas Masiulis, member of the European Commission Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, the Latvian and Estonian Prime Ministers, Polish Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Energy of Sweden, as well as CEOs of the Lithuanian, Polish, and Swedish electricity transmission system operators have taken part at a solemn ceremony at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.