Regulator: Latvia, Estonia cannot currently import Russian electricity ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Electricity costs reached a record high in 2018.
Electricity costs reached a record high in 2018. Source: Priit Luts/ERR

Latvia and Estonia cannot start electricity trade via their interconnections with Russia based on a new trilateral Baltic methodology until it has been approved by all three market regulators, Lithuania's National Energy Regulatory Council (VERT) said on Wednesday. But this is disputed by Estonia's Elering.

The Lithuanian regulator has yet to approve the new methodology. 

Following Tuesday's launch of Belarus' Astravyets nuclear power plant, the current trilateral Baltic methodology on electricity trade with third countries, approved in 2018, remains in force, VERT said.

Under the 2018 methodology, the Baltic countries' capacity for electricity trade with Russia and Belarus, except for the Kaliningrad region, is zero megawatts, it said.

The regulator noted that Lithuania's Litgrid and the Latvian and Estonian transmission system operators had started applying the 2018 methodology following the Astravyets plant's launch, setting the capacity to zero.  

VERT has informed the Baltic TSOs, the European Commission and the Nord Pool power exchange that the new trilateral methodology will come into force only after it has been approved by the regulators of all three Baltic countries.

The Lithuanian regulator has launched a public consultation on the draft methodology, with November 5 set as the deadline for submitting comments and proposals. It is not clear yet when the regulator will discuss the draft.  

Elering, the Estonian TSO, said on Tuesday that electricity trade with Russia via the Latvia-Russia interconnection would begin on Thursday. The interconnection has half the capacity of that between Lithuania and Belarus.

Under the 2018 methodology, the Baltic countries' capacity for electricity trade with Russia and Belarus, except for the Kaliningrad region, is zero megawatts, it said.

However, representatives of Elering told BNS on Thursday that the 2018 agreement expired with the launch of Astravyets and that was exactly what was agreed in the agreement.

In Elering's view, a new agreement submitted by the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian TSOs is currently in force. According to Elering, the new capacity allocation agreement also has the approval of the Estonian Competition Authority, and the same applies to Latvia, which is why electricity trade is taking place from Thursday.

Lithuania on Tuesday stopped trading in electricity with Belarus due to the start up of the Astravyets nuclear power plant.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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