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All permits obtained for the construction of NordBalt power link in Lithuania

All permits obtained for the construction of NordBalt power link in Lithuania

The construction of NordBalt power link to Sweden has been given the go-ahead – this spring Lithuanian institutions issued all permits for building the power link. The longest stage of the NordBalt project, which involved spatial planning, the design of technical solutions and obtaining permits, has been completed. The next stage will be the construction of the Lithuania-Sweden power link. It will begin in the spring of 2014.

Virgilijus Poderys, CEO of the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid, the developer of the NordBalt project, said that any major state infrastructure project takes years of study and planning before an infrastructure object becomes tangible.

“The planning, design and coordination of infrastructure projects and obtaining permits usually takes no less than 7 years. The amount of work done during this stage is hard to measure, because   it is not visible,” Poderys said at a press conference in Klaipėda. “A feasibility study on developing the Lithuania-Sweden power link was prepared between 2007 and 2008. We signed a contract with the power link’s contractor in 2010, and we are glad that we have obtained all necessary permits by mid-2013. Now the project enters the construction stage, which will last until December 2015,“ he added.  

In March 2013, Lithuanian government approved the construction of the submarine power cable in the Lithuanian coastal area and the special economic zone. The Swedish government gave permission for the construction of the power link to Lithuania in April 2013.  

The construction is due to start in the spring of 2014. Preparation works will be carried out this summer and autumn to set the stage for laying the cable on land and the bottom of the sea. A temporary road will be built from the Curonian Lagoon to the Baltic Sea to provide access for heavy duty vehicles, which will have to lay the power cable next spring. Horizontal drilling into the Curonian Spit and the bottom of the Curonian Lagoon will be carried out this autumn.

The Klaipėda transformer substation is under reconstruction at the moment to get ready for the construction of a direct current converter – NordBalt’s key component – at the beginning of 2014.  The converter will be connected to a high voltage cable on the bottom of the Baltic Sea going to Nybro in Sweden. The direct current converter is necessary for transmitting electricity between the different electricity systems of Lithuania and Sweden.   

The Klaipėda-Telšiai electricity line, under construction at the moment, will also be connected to the reconstructed Klaipėda transformer substation in the autumn of 2014. Most of the pylons of the line’s section that will go through Plungė and Telšiai districts have already been built, with the rest to be built in Klaipėda district this year. The construction of the Klaipėda-Telšiai electricity line is planned to be completed at the end of 2014. The line will be used for the transmission of Scandinavian electricity to Lithuania and Latvia following the launch of NordBalt into operation at the end 2015.

NordBalt international power link will make it possible to technically integrate Lithuanian electricity system into the common market of the Baltic Sea region states. The Nordic power exchange Nord Pool Spot launched a bidding area in Lithuania on 18 June 2012. After Nord Pool Spot launches a bidding area in Latvia in June this year, the Baltic electricity market will become interconnected and electricity surplus in one country will help to reduce electricity prices in other countries.
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