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The NordBalt project is successfully conquering the Baltic Sea
2014-06-17

The NordBalt project is successfully conquering the Baltic Sea

One third of the international power link NordBalt cable has already been laid on the seabed of the Baltic Sea, while other land works are being smoothly carried out on both Lithuanian and Swedish sides: underground cables are being laid, pouring of foundations for converter stations will commence shortly. The NordBalt international power link will be one of the longest high-voltage direct current links in the world and will significantly increase the reliability of the power supply in the three Baltic States and the southern part of Sweden. 
 
"This project is an extraordinary historical event for both energy sector and the entire country. Reliability and security of supply are the key descriptors of the importance of NordBalt. When this interconnector project commences next year, the consumers of electricity in all the region will benefit. All countries participating in this strategic project understand its uniqueness and meaning, and the combined efforts in pursuit of a common goal ensure smooth progress of the project. While implementing this project Klaipėda transformer substation has been undergoing reconstruction, and a new high voltage power line from Klaipėda to Telšiai is being constructed, thus ensuring better security of power supply to all western part of Lithuania", said Minister of Energy Jaroslav Neverovič at the event dedicated to celebrate the commencement of construction, during which a capsule with a letter for future generations was laid next to the cable route on the bottom of the Curonian Lagoon.
 
The NordBalt international link will ensure prompt restoration of operation of the energy system in case of interruption in power supply. 
 
“The NordBalt is more than just a step towards the energy independence of Lithuania and integration into the Northern European system, it is also a very special challenge placed to our energy specialists. NordBalt is the first electricity interconnection of such high technological complexity in our history and serves as an excellent proof that Northern Europe, as well as the Nordic values, is within arm's reach. Only 400 kilometres - that is the length of the submarine cable - separate us from Sweden, our highly experienced partner in this project", said the Chairman of the Board and the CEO of the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid, Daivis Virbickas. 
 
A special sea vessel Topaz Installer has already completed half of the works in laying the third 50 km long section of the submarine cable. In the end of June, cable deepening works will commence, during which a submarine robot will be applying a high-pressure water jet underneath the cable lying on the bottom of the sea, thus making it gradually sink deeper into the seabed. The remaining part of the task will be completed by the nature - sea waves will gradually cover the cable with sand and it will stay buried about one meter deep. 
 
On June 14-15 the weather conditions in the Baltic Sea worsened and the cable laying vessel, that has  reduced manoeuvrability due to the weight of the load,  arrived at Klaipėda seaport for the first time. The new shift of the crew boarded as well as the necessary material was loaded. The Topaz Installer was also forced to divert from the route in the end of May a, Russian military ships that entered the Lithuanian exclusive economic zone ordered her to move about 20 sea miles to the side and thus forced a break of seven hours, having considered safety of about 50 crew members. 
 
In Klaipėda District, the laying of the first land cable section near Klaipėda transformer substation has started. The underground cable is crossing inhabited territory only at Kiškėnai village, and cable laying works in this Klaipėda District’s settlement are scheduled to be finished this week. From there, the underground cable route goes through large agricultural fields, commercial territories and the southern part of the seaport, where industrial and shipping objects are concentrated. The submarine cable on the bottom of the Curonian Lagoon will be laid in the middle of August. All land cable laying related works are planned to be completed by late autumn.
 
Reconstruction of the Klaipėda transformer substation is also nearly finished. The second stage of the works, i.e. the reconstruction of the 330 kV switchyard is planned to be completed by the end of the year.   A unique technological device – a current converter, the construction of which will be completed by the end of 2015, will be connected to the substation.
 
In the end of 2015, upon completion of the Lithuanian-Polish power link LitPol Link together with the NordBalt project, the technical and the infrastructural obstacles that have been separating the Baltic States from the energy systems of the continental and northern Europe will be defeated. The NordBalt alone will be able to satisfy half of the energy demand in Lithuania on a summer day. Power link of 700 MW capacity is being financed by Lithuania, Sweden and the European Union. 
 
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