The 453-kilometer long 700 megawatt NordBalt power interconnection is one of the most important projects in the history of Baltic countries’ energy sectors. Although the submarine cable is laid between the coasts of Lithuania and Sweden, the project will equally benefit to Lithuania and Latvia,” said the Minister of Energy, Rokas Masiulis, to Latvian reporters during a meeting in Klaipėda.
Rokas Masiulis
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

NordBalt will be the first electricity link connecting the Baltic countries with Scandinavia. After its launch, Latvia will be able to import electricity from Sweden through Lithuania. Currently, the interconnection is being finalised by the Lithuanian and Swedish electricity transmission system operators, Litgrid and Svenska Kraftnät. The electricity is planned to start flowing through the cable in December of this year.

“From the very beginning the price difference in Lithuanian and Latvian bidding areas was a rare case because the dynamics of electricity price are subject to the same circumstances. The power link with Sweden opens the way to the surplus Scandinavian electricity market for Lithuania and Latvia. Up to now, Lithuania and Latvia paid the highest price for electricity in the Northern Europe. Starting next year, we can reasonably expect that the wholesale price for electricity will get closer to the average price in Nordic countries,” said the Minister.

In 2014, the average electricity price reached 50 euros per megawatt hour in Lithuania and Latvia and was 41% higher than that in the Nord Pool Spot system.

According to the Minister, more alternatives for energy supply also mean greater energy security for the Baltic countries. Together with the almost completed LitPol Link and the already functioning two interconnections between Estonia and Finland, the NordBalt power interconnection will double the electricity trading opportunities for the Baltic countries, while the availability of imported electricity will exceed the annual electricity consumption of the Baltic countries.

“The NordBalt power interconnection with Sweden reinforces the integration of the Baltic countries into Nordic electricity market. A greater and reliable supply of electricity for the Baltic countries is not just a victory for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, it is a victory for all Europe. The NordBalt power interconnection is an inspiring example of streamlined cooperation, which will hopefully grow to mutual interest and a closer relationship in the future,” noted Masiulis.

The NordBalt project is part of Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) aimed at fully integrating the power systems of the Baltic Sea region countries and eliminating energy islands. According to this plan, further steps will include the synchronisation of the Baltic electric power systems with the continental Europe.

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