Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid has signed an agreement on the design and construction of the 330 kV electricity transmission overhead line Klaipėda - Grobinė. This reconstruction is necessary to implement Lithuania's strategic goal: synchronisation with the Continental European Network.
Part of the line connecting Klaipėda and Grobinė (Latvia) 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 a 33 km section from the future Darbėnai substation to the border of Kretinga-Klaipėda districts.
This reconstruction is the first stage of the synchronisation project 'Construction of 330 kV Power Transmission Line Darbėnai - Bitėnai'. 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.
'The performed calculations show that if the Lithuanian electricity system is integrated into the Continental European Network, the existing grid of Western Lithuania could become too congested. Therefore, the country's electricity transmission network will be strengthened, and its reliable operation will be ensured, both by reconstruction of existing and construction of new lines. Reconstruction of the Klaipėda-Grobinė line is an important part of this process', says Gerda Krasauskė, Director of the Strategic Infrastructure Department of Litgrid.
The tender for the design-build contract announced in the summer of this year was won by a consortium consisting of UAB Empower-Fidelitas and Empower AS. The contract with the consortium was signed on 15th of January. The value of the contract is € 9.7 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 Darbėnai - Bitėnai will start in Darbėnai, where the future Harmony Link submarine power cable will connect the Lithuanian and Polish electricity transmission networks, and will run around Klaipėda to Bitėnai, located on the border of the Kaliningrad region of Russia. It will be formed in two stages. In the first stage, the section from the future Darbėnai substation to the border of Kretinga - Klaipėda districts is reconstructed, the line is changed from single-circuit to double-circuit. In the second stage, the reconstruction of the Klaipėda - Grobinė line in Klaipėda district will be continued, a new section of the line around Klaipėda city will be built and a section of approximately 80 km of Klaipėda-Šyša-Bitėnai line from the newly built line to Bitėnai transformer substation will be reconstructed.
The construction project of the 330 kV overhead line Darbėnai - 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.