New electricity lines and transmission stations are being built to link the grids of Poland and Lithuania, an investment that will help to strengthen the energy independence of the two countries and the energy security of the Baltic countries
Within the project, the Transmission System Operator (TSO) in Poland, PSE S.A, is making 11 line and station investments, co-funded through the ERDF (through the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment, managed by the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Development), including diversification of energy sources.
While creating the interconnection with the Lithuanian transmission system, the project is also reinforcing the electricity grid in North-Eastern Poland and improving the quality and
reliability of supply of electricity to consumers.
The two countries set out to reduce the degree of energy dependence by diversifying the routes, sources and energy carriers, and reducing the regions’ isolation from the rest of the EU.
In 2008 a Polish-Lithuanian company, LitPol Link Ltd., was established to support the initial phase of the project and coordinate the project in both countries. The strategic importance of this project was recognised by the European Commission and it was granted EUR 208 million (PLN 868 million) towards the total cost of EUR 432 million (PLN 1 800 million), as well as an additional EUR 1.9 million for feasibility studies from the TEN-E fund.
In Poland, the first construction works began in 2012 and the line and station investments are due to be completed by the end of 2015. The connection will enable Poland to develop interconnections with neighbouring countries, while Lithuania, as well as other Baltic states, will be capable of joining the European energy system (Continental European Network) via back-to-back stations.
Creating a Poland-Lithuania interconnection (LitPol Link) – the first between the two countries – is a crucial element in developing a common European energy market by creating the so-called ‘Baltic ring’ to connect the markets of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to the European electricity network via Poland. It will also increase the transmission capacity of the Baltic states.
The construction of power bridges in the Baltic region also contributes to the development of trans-European energy networks. The investment is part of the European Commission’s Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan, adopted in July 2009, whose main goal is to end the isolation of the Baltic states from the European energy market.
On 20 April 2015 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed relating to common power trading principles for the LitPol Link and brings Polish-Lithuanian power trading a step closer.