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Baltic, Polish prime ministers to discuss desynchronization with Juncker

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) with Jean-Claude Juncker.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) with Jean-Claude Juncker. Source: (EU2017EE)

Ahead of the European Council next week, the prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland will meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, where the main topic of discussion will be the synchronization of the Baltic electricity networks with the European network.

"The meeting will take place before the European Council on Thursday, and the main topic will be desynchronization," government spokesperson Triin Oppi told BNS on Friday.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have thus far failed to reach an agreement regarding how to desynchronize the Baltic power grid from the Russian and Belarusian power system and synchronize it with the Western European one.

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre said in its findings that the best synchronization scheme for the Baltic states is via two LitPol Link interconnections, which would entail a cost of €770-960 million; synchronization via a single link would cost €900 million. Synchronizing the Baltic states with the Nordic region is estimated to cost from €1.36-1.41 billion in total.

Lithuania and Poland would like to conduct the synchronization via one Lithuania-Poland or Lit-Pol cable. Latvia and Estonia have said that this would not ensure the necessary energy security and at least two Lit-Pol connections should be used. Lithuania's electricity transmission operator Litgrid proposed to build the second link after 2025, the planned date for project completion and disconnection from the Russian BRELL electricity ring.

Lithuanian Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas and Litgrid CEO Daivis Virbickas at the beginning of March called for the Baltics and Poland to accelerate the project for synchronizing their power systems with continental Europe, noting that Russia is also preparing for desynchronization, which may pose a risk to the energy security of the Baltic countries.

Government spokespeople nevertheless denied that the meeting with Juncker is taking place to solve disagreements.

"Rather, it indicates that this project is important for all of us," Oppi said. "This is a significant meeting to demonstrate how important this project is."

The European Commission is currently in the process of preparing the budget of the next European Union budget period. The Commission should file a proposal in May 2018.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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