Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid has signed an agreement on the design and construction of the 330 kV electricity transmission overhead line Jurbarkas - Bitėnai. This reconstruction is necessary to implement Lithuania's strategic goal: synchronisation with the Continental European Synchronous Area.
Part of the line connecting Jurbarkas and Bitėnai substations will be reconstructed from single-circuit to double-circuit. This means that overhead line supports will be replaced and new wiring will be strung in the existing engineering corridor. Reconstruction will cover an almost 40 km section between the city of Jurbarkas and Bitėnai substation.
This reconstruction is the first stage of the synchronisation project 'Construction of Kruonio HAE-Bitėnai 330 kV overhead line'. The future line will strengthen the transmission network in Western Lithuania and ensure its reliable operation after establishing a Harmony Link offshore interconnector with Poland and disconnection from Kaliningrad region and Belarus grids.
'Pursuing Lithuania's strategic goal of synchronisation with Continental Europe, we are reinforcing and enhancing the power grid of our country. This includes both renewing existing power lines and building new ones. Reconstruction of Jurbarkas - Bitėnai line and the whole Kruonio HAE - Bitėnai project are important parts of this preparation process, which will ensure reliable operation with the Continental European Synchronous Area', says Rokas Masiulis, CEO of Litgrid.
The tender for the design-build contract announced in the summer of last year was won by a consortium consisting of UAB Empower-Fidelitas and Empower AS. The contract with the consortium was signed on 23rd of March. The value of the contract is € 12.3 million.
The design works are planned to be completed in 2022, and the construction works are expected to be finished in 2023.
The future 330 kV line Kruonio HAE - Bitėnai will connect Bitėnai substation in Pagėgiai municipality with power grid hub between the two biggest cities of Lithuania - Vilnius and Kaunas. The line, which runs parallel to Kaliningrad border, is needed to safely disconnect from power systems of Russia and Belarus. The project consists of three stages: in the first one the line between Jurbarkas and Bitėnai will be reconstructed from single-circuit to double-circuit. In the second stage a new line will connect the reconstructed part and existing Kruonio HAE - Sovetsk line in Vilkaviškis municipality. In the third stage Bitėnai substation will be expanded and the new line will be connected.
The construction project of the 330 kV overhead line Kruonio HAE - Bitėnai is one of 14 government-approved synchronisation projects. Litgrid has already implemented 3 of the following projects: the extension of the 330 kV Bitėnai transformer substation, the construction of the 110 kV line Pagėgiai - Bitėnai and the reconstruction of the 330 kV line Lietuvos E - Vilnius.
Until now, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, together with Russia and Belarus, operate in the so-called BRELL ring, where the grid frequency is centrally regulated in Russia. Litgrid is preparing the Lithuanian electricity system to disconnect from BRELL and start operating in synchronous mode with Poland, Germany and other continental European countries in 2025.