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Litgrid and ABB signed an agreement for design and construction of LitPol Link HVDC converter station

Litgrid, the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator, and ABB, the global technology group, have signed an agreement for design and construction of a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) back-to-back converter station with a 400 kV switchyard in Alytus.
The value of the contract is 288 million LTL. The preliminary value of the LitPol Link project being implemented by Lithuania and Poland is 1.281 billion LTL.
The HVDC back-to-back converter station that is the key element in the LitPol Link interconnection will be built next to the Alytus transformer substation. Construction work will begin in spring 2014 and will be completed by December 2015. A high-voltage electricity transmission line will be built, and the Alytus substation’s 330 kV switchyard will be remodelled. Operation of the power interconnector will begin in December 2015.
According to Virgilijus Poderys, Chief Executive Officer of Litgrid, construction of the HVDC back-to-back converter station is a very important milestone in the implementation of the LitPol Link electricity interconnection project.
“The LitPol Link project is now taking on a tangible shape. The unique HVDC back-to-back converter station, first of this type in the Baltic countries, is the major part of the LitPol Link electricity interconnection. For the first time LitPol Link will connect the electricity infrastructure of the Baltic countries and Europe and will enable the integration of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia into the European electricity market,” said Mr. Poderys after the contract was signed.
The 500 megawatt HVDC back-to-back converter station, 100 metres in width and 350 metres in length, is a unique device being built to order. Under the agreement ABB will prepare the technical designs for the back-to-back HVDC converter station and switchyard, perform all the necessary research, deliver and install the devices, test them, and launch operations.
„ABB’s experience in developing world recognised HVDC technologies was pivotal in helping the company to win the tender that will enable transmission of electricity from Lithuania to Poland or from Poland to Lithuania,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB Power Systems division. ABB pioneered HVDC technology almost 60 years ago and remains the world leader in this highly-efficient technology, having completed around 90 HVDC projects around the world with a total transmission capacity of more than 95,000 MW.
Lithuania and Poland have different electricity transmission systems. By changing the voltage, the back-to-back HVDC converter station will harmonise electricity transmission between two non-synchronous electricity systems – European Continental Network, which includes Poland, and IPS/UPS, in which the Lithuanian power system functions.
Litgrid is implementing strategic Lithuanian electricity energy projects of LitPol Link and NordBalt to connect the electricity transmission infrastructure of the three Baltic States and Europe and will create conditions necessary for electricity market integration. By the end of 2015, LitPol Link will begin operating with a capacity of 500 MW, while by 2020 the capacity will be 1000 MW. By the end of 2015 the interconnections to Poland and Sweden will allow to integrate the infrastructure of the Baltic countries electricity system into the European grid and electricity market.

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