Lithuania unveils EU powerlines

12 Feb 2016

Vilnius has launched new power cables to Sweden and Poland.

The move sees the Baltic state reduce its reliance on energy imports from Russia.

The power lines from Lithuania comprise a 700 megawatt undersea power line to Sweden as well as a 500 megawatt line to Poland. It’s anticipated the development will help Lithuania gain cheaper energy as well as integrate the country into the European power grid. The move has been welcomed by the Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas, as well as US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Speaking about the power lines, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said: “We have turned an isolated energy island in the Baltic Sea region into the Baltic energy ring.”

Meanwhile, Roivas said: “This is a very important step for the regional electricity market … [it] will strengthen our region’s security.”

Lithuania’s state-run grid operator Litgrid said the new power lines would save the country €90m in 2016.

Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia have been part of the Russia-run power grid despite gaining independence in 1991. The three Baltic States have already used an underwater power line between Estonia and Finland to link to the European power system.