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How much would blocking electricity from Belarus nuclear plant cost Lithuania?
© Reuters/Scanpix

Belarus’s new nuclear power plant is rising fast at Astrayvets but Lithuanian analysts have now published a study on the costs of preventing Belarusian electricity flowing through Lithuania.

The researchers at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) together with scientists at Litgrid examined five alternatives in the feasibility study, according to Litgrid Director General Daivis Virbickas

Shut down of all Lithuania-Belarus electricity transmission lines

This alternative would still allow some electricity from Belarus but would require significant investment in transmission infrastructure - about €50 million.

DC converter construction at the substation of the Ignalina nuclear power plant

The price of such a converter ranges between €90 million to €150 million, total investment in transmission infrastructure could reach €200 million euros.

Shut down of three power transmission lines connecting the Ignalina nuclear power plant to Belarus

The wholesale price of electricity would be raised by €3/ MWh, an additional investment of €20 million euros would be needed.

Shutting down all the power transmission lines between the Baltic countries and Belarus / Russia

"This is one of the most sustainable alternatives, leading to synchornisation with Europe. However, a problem arises, as with all the alternatives, that is regional cooperation concerns. With the disabling of the lines the problem of how to balance the system appears, " said Professor Dr. Saulius Gudžius, the head of KTU Electrical Energy Systems Department which carried out the study.

Restriction of Belarusian electricity market trading.

The effect of this option on Lithuania’s electricity prices would be about 3 cents per MWh. R.Masiulis said that Lithuania is already prepared for such restrictions.

"This is would involving banning power from our market. Natural flows may still exist - they support the system's stability. No one gets money for the electricity flow but the system is more stable, " said Masiulis.

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