Swedish-Baltic energy link to be built from Lithuania

Apr 27, 2009 02:00 AM

Lithuania will be the destination for a power link connecting the Baltic states with Sweden, Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said after meeting with his Latvian and Estonian counterparts in Vilnius.
Latvia and Lithuania competed to be the end point for the energy link, which will help diversify the region's energy resources. The power cable is expected to be completed by 2016.

The Baltic leaders also pledged to create a common electricity market by 2013 "at the latest" and eventually connect to a joint market with Sweden and Finland. The European Commission will allocate EUR 175 mm ($ 230 mm) as part of an economic recovery plan to build the link and improve electricity grids in the Baltic states.
"This new link will not only enable the development of electricity trade between the Baltic and the Nordic markets, but it will also strengthen the security of supply of the three Baltic States," EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said.

Lithuania is closing its Ignalina nuclear plant at the end of this year. The plant is a Soviet-era relic powered by the type of reactor that caused the world's worst nuclear accident at Ukraine's Chernobyl plant in 1986.
The Lithuanian plant, which has been upgraded with new safety technology after the fire in Chernobyl, supplies 70 % of Lithuania's electricity and provides power to neighbours Latvia and Estonia.

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