“The LitPol Link project shows that energy security is not a priority of Lithuania alone but of neighbouring countries as well. The power interconnection with the Polish energy system will complete the energy ring around the Baltic Sea,” said Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis after his visit to the construction site of a HVDC back-to-back converter station near the town of Alytus.
The foundations for all 150 pylons of the 51 km LitPol Link line in Lithuania have been built before the start of the winter. Two thirds of the 50 metre high pylons have already been erected, with the remaining 30 assembled and ready for erection. The construction of the 150 pylons are planned to be completed by the middle of 2015. The first power cables, an optical ground wire with lightning protection are being laid between the pylons. LitPol Link will be the first 400 kV electricity transmission line in Lithuania.
“The construction of LitPol Link is proceeding on schedule. The implementation of some stages of the project is even ahead of schedule thanks to our ability to deal effectively with arising challenges. In the winter we are going to concentrate on the construction of the LitPol Link HVDC back-to-back converter station: we plan to complete the construction of a control centre and a valve hall,” stated Daivis Virbickas, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Litgrid, the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator.
The converter station which occupies an area the size of three football fields is the key and most intricate element of LitPol Link power interconnection. The converter station will be built only on the Lithuanian side. It will enable power transmission between the asynchronous power systems of Lithuania and Poland.
The first two transformers for the converter station will arrive at the end of January. In late November, they were successfully tested at the plant of the global technology group ABB in Ludvika, Sweden and prepared for delivery to Lithuania. The two transformers, each weighing about 200 tonnes, will be delivered to the port of Klaipeda by ship and transported to their destination at the Alytus transformer substation by special heavy-duty vehicles. A special road to the converter station has been built for delivering the gigantic cargo.
The main equipment for the LitPol Link HVDC converter station is still being built and should be brought to Lithuania in April. The reconstruction of the Alytus transformer substation is due to be finished by the summer of 2015. The transformer substation will be connected with the converter station.
The length of LitPol Link will be 163 kilometres, of which 51 kilometres will be in Lithuania. By the end of 2015, LitPol Link will operate at a capacity of 500 MW. When the power interconnections with Poland and Sweden are built, Lithuania will have the most interconnected energy system in the Baltic Sea region. Lithuania will have 16 cross-border connections including LitPol Link and NordBalt and more than twice as many options to transmit electricity across the border.