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D. Virbickas: We aim to become the Baltic Sea region’s energy competence centre

D. Virbickas: We aim to become the Baltic Sea region’s energy competence centre

On 8 October the King of Sweden, His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, and his delegation visited the most modern power system control centre in the Baltic countries and got acquainted with the history of Lithuanian power system control.
“Lithuania and Sweden are already connected by many bridges in business and politics. Soon new power link will bridge the electricity markets of two countries. By the end of this year the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid will put into the operation the first two links with Western Europe and Scandinavia LitPol Link and NordBalt. New links are very important for all Lithuanian people and business – they will ensure the security of electricity supply and a competitive price”, said the Minister of Energy Rokas Masiulis. 
The Lithuanian power system is currently undergoing the biggest changes. By the start of LitPol Link and NordBalt operation one of the fundamental stages of the system reorientation from the East to the West will be finalized. The new connections were planned and built in the five years after the closure of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania in 2010, when overnight Lithuania went from being a major electricity exporter to a mainly electricity importing country. Energy isolation of the Baltic countries in the European Union will be eliminated by overcoming the challenge of the next decade – synchronisation with continental European networks.
The whole critical electricity infrastructure of strategic importance to Lithuania – more than 7,000 kilometres of transmission network – is managed from a Vilnius-based control centre. The high quality transmission of electricity is ensured 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
“Soon we will begin to manage flows of electricity reaching us from three power systems located in the West, the North, and the East. Although we are a small system, we will become a vital crossroad of electricity flows. We are catching up with the most progressive transmission grid operators in Europe in terms of experience, international activities, and implemented projects. We aim to become the Baltic Sea region’s energy competence centre with the highest level of knowledge and skills”, said Daivis Virbickas, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Litgrid.
According to him, it is symbolic that the King of Sweden visited the system control centre on the eve of its anniversary. Exactly 70 years ago the first central dispatch service, connecting the power plants in Kaunas and Vilnius, was established. 
At the system control centre, the data of Lithuanian major networks, main electricity generation and consumption data in a BRELL ring, the Scandinavian and Central European systems are displayed in big screens in real time. Four dispatchers are constantly on duty here receiving an information about the situation in the network from automatically-controlled high-voltage electrical equipment. 
“The state energy projects we are undertaking are significant for each of us. We are making efforts to ensure that the network is managed efficiently and that the opportunities it provides are used for the economic growth”, said D. Virbickas.
Tomorrow, on 9 October 2015, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will be paying a visit to the construction site of the Lithuanian and Swedish electricity link NordBalt on the territory of the Klaipėda transformer substation. 
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