Lithuania limits electricity imports from Belarus

21 September 2021

After Lithuania’s State Energy Regulatory Authority (VERT) approved new rules for electricity transmission capacity from Belarus to Lithuania, electricity transmission system operator Litgrid changed the maximum electricity transmission capacity from Belarus to Lithuania “to ensure technical system parameters”.

Litgrid said the change in the technical capacity of the connections will ensure that Lithuania’s power lines are not used for trade in electricity produced in Belarus, and the provisions of the Law on Necessary Measures to Protect Against Unsafe Threats of Nuclear Power Plants in Third Countries will be implemented. The change was effective from 15 September.

Litgrid CEO Rokas Masiulis said that, on the first day of the new system the maximum transmission capacity of 262MWe from Belarus to Lithuania was set. “The new methodology will ensure that the electricity necessary to ensure the reliability of the energy system can enter Lithuania. At the same time, the import of electricity produced by Astrave to Lithuania will be restricted. According to the new methodology, throughputs will be calculated every day to ensure stable and reliable operation of electricity.”  

Under the new rules, the maximum transfer capacity (TTC) from Belarus to Lithuania will be reduced to what is necessary to ensure the security of the Baltic systems. According to Masiulis, the commercial or otherwise net transfer capacity (NTC) from Russia to Latvia depends on the maximum electricity transmission capacity from Belarus to Lithuania. The bilateral methodology applied by Latvia and Estonia assesses the maximum transmission bandwidth of the Belarus-Lithuania electricity connection.

Lithuania has already limited its imports from Belarus by stopping direct commercial electricity flows through the Lithuanian-Belarusian cross-section in November 2020, when the Ostravets nuclear plant in Belarus started generating electricity. However, until 12 July, when Ostravets 1 was temporarily disconnected from the energy system, electricity produced in Belarus still entered the Baltic market. Litgrid said the adoption of a new bandwidth methodology will limit these possibilities.

The Lithuanian electricity system has historically operated synchronously with the IPS/UPS system, which connects the systems of the BRELL countries - Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. In 2025, it is planned to synchronise the Baltic States with the networks of continental Europe, for which Litgrid will build a new connection with Poland and strengthen the internal electricity transmission networks, and prepare systems for disconnection from IPS/UPS and independent frequency management.


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