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13 Apr 2018

Peculiarities of interaction between Belarusian, Lithuanian power grids explained

MINSK, 13 April (BelTA) – Belarusian Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik made a few comments to explain peculiarities in interaction between the Belarusian and Lithuanian power grids, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Energy Ministry website.

According to the source, the Belarusian and Lithuanian power grids interact within the framework of the synchronized electric ring codenamed BRELL, which unites Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. The electric ring allows its participants to enjoy all the advantages of parallel work, including reliable operation of power installations near their borders and the stable operation of the jointly working power grids. The ring also allows buying and selling electricity depending on economic advisability. The ring allows providing electricity to a partner in an emergency and providing assistance with dealing with power grid emergencies. The Belarusian and Lithuanian power grids enjoy all the benefits the current system provides.

At present Belarusian electricity is exported to Lithuania in line with trade rules of the power exchange Nordpool and in line with the emergency assistance agreement signed with the Lithuanian power grid operator Litgrid. In 2017 Belarus exported 146.5 million kWh of electricity. The figure was 381.9 million kWh in Q1 2018. In 2013-2018 the Lithuanian power grid received assistance in emergencies 55 times, including five times in Q1 2018.

Interaction between the Belarusian and Lithuanian power grids relies on mutual economic advisability and is aimed at making the operation of the two power grids more reliable, stressed Vladimir Potupchik.

The Lithuanian power grid operator Litgrid informed the Belarusian side in advance about plans to reconstruct 330kV power lines bordering on the Belarusian power grid. The reconstruction will replace obsolete equipment of the 330kV distribution device at the Ignalina nuclear power plant. Besides, since nuclear reactors at the Ignalina nuclear power plant will be decommissioned and large amounts of electricity will no longer be transferred via the available six 330kV powerful power lines, the Lithuanian side has decided to optimize the network of 330kV power lines.

Speaking about the possible separation of the Lithuanian power grid from the Belarusian one, the Belarusian Energy Minister explained that this possible scenario is taken into account when prospects of development of the Belarusian power grid are discussed, including matters relating to the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The future plans are put together bearing in mind the need to reliably supply Belarusian consumers with electricity using domestic power sources and maintaining the balanced operation of the national power grid. Yet in view of the higher export potential of the Belarusian energy system after the nuclear power plant is commissioned, the export of electricity may be arranged on mutually beneficial terms to the power grids, which are connected by interstate power lines.

“We count on mutually beneficial cooperation in the interests of the Lithuanian and Belarusian sides,” stressed Vladimir Potupchik.

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