ABB Ltd., the world’s largest maker of power transformers, agreed to build a converter station in Lithuania as part of a project to link the Baltic nation with Poland’s power system in 2015, Lithuania’s grid operator said.
The 288 million-litai ($111 million) contract, which was signed today, is part of Lithuania and Poland’s joint $500 million LitPol Link project, Litgrid AB, the electricity transmission operator in Vilnius, said in an e-mailed statement.
The European Union, which includes the LitPol Link on its list of strategic projects for connecting the 27-nation bloc’s energy markets, will help with financing. The EU aims to eliminate the isolation of all members’ power and natural gas networks by 2015 in order to gain authority over the region’s energy policy.
“This is the real start of construction on a link uniting the electricity markets of the Baltic states and the European Union,” Lithuanian Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovic said at the signing, according to a separate e-mailed statement. “For Lithuania it’s literally an ‘energy window’ on Europe.”
ABB will design and build a high-voltage direct current back-to-back converter station with a 400-kilovolt switchyard in Alytus, Lithuania, by December 2015, according to Litgrid. A 500-megawatt power cable between the two countries is due to start operating by the end of 2015, Litgrid said, citing plans to double capacity to 1,000 megawatts by 2020.