Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid today announced public tenders for design and construction of the 330 kV power transmission lines Darbėnai - Bitėnai and Kruonis HPP - Bitėnai. These lines are necessary to implement the strategic goal of Lithuania to achieve synchronisation with the Continental Europe Synchronous Area (CESA).
The winning bidders will perform the works associated with the second stage of both projects, which includes preparing technical designs and construction works in the newly built and reconstructed sections of lines in district municipalities of Klaipėda, Šilutė, Pagėgiai, Jurbarkas, Šakiai and Vilkaviškis. The contracts with the winners are expected to be signed by the end of the year.
The Darbėnai - Bitėnai and Kruonis HPP - Bitėnai lines will ensure reliable operation of the transmission network after Harmony Link marine interconnector with Poland starts operation, and Lithuania disconnects from high-voltage electricity transmission lines in the Kaliningrad region of Russia and Belarus.
'In preparation for synchronisation with the CESA, we pay great attention to internal national grid, which will have to function flawlessly after we become independent. The new lines are a big step in this direction: they will strengthen the Lithuanian power system by connecting Darbėnai, the terminal station for Harmony Link interconnector, with Kruonis Hydro Accumulation Power Plant, currently located between Kaunas and Elektrėnai. At present, both projects are being implemented successfully and on time: we have already done most of the work related to the planning of the related territories, started the design works for the first stages of the lines, and secured project funding from EU funds,' says Rokas Masiulis, Litgrid CEO.
Almost 140 km-long Darbėnai - Bitėnai line will connect the planned Darbėnai substation in Kretinga municipality with the Bitėnai substation in Pagėgiai municipality. Most of the line will be reconstructed by changing the supports and by adding a second circuit within the safety zone of the existing lines, however, a completely new bypass of approximately 12 km around the city of Klaipėda will also be built.
The Darbėnai-Bitėnai project consists of two phases. The first one is to reconstruct the section of the Klaipėda - Grobinė line from the future Darbėnai substation to the border of Kretinga - Klaipėda districts. During the reconstruction, the line will be changed from single-circuit to double-circuit. The first phase of design work is already underway. The announced procurement of engineering and construction works includes the second stage: reconstruction of the existing Klaipėda - Grobinė line in Klaipėda district, construction of a new section of the line around the city of Klaipėda and reconstruction of approximately 80 km-long section of Klaipėda-Šyša-Bitėnai line from the bypass joining point to Bitėnai transformer substation.
The total length of the Kruonis HPP - Bitėnai line is 211 km, of which 62 km will be used to form a new engineering corridor in district municipalities of Vilkaviškis, Šakiai and Jurbarkas, whereas the other 39 km long section will see a reconstruction of the existing part of the line from Jurbarkas to Bitėnai using the existing infrastructure corridor.
The Kruonis HPP-Bitėnai project consists of three phases. The first one is to reconstruct the line from Jurbarkas to Bitėnai, where the line will be changed from single-circuit to double-circuit. The first phase of design work in this phase is already underway. The announced procurement of design and construction works includes the second stage, in which a new line will be built from the reconstructed section to the existing 330 kV line Kruonis HPP - Sovietskas, located in Vilkaviškis district municipality. In the third stage, the Bitėnai transformer substation will be expanded and the newly formed line will be connected.
These lines are 2 of 14 strategic state projects necessary for the synchronisation of the Lithuanian electricity system with Continental Europe Synchronous Area. Litgrid has already implemented three 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 Lithuanian Power Plant - Vilnius.
The synchronisation of the Baltic States with continental Europe is planned to be implemented in 2025. To date, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, together with Russia and Belarus, operate in the so-called BRELL ring, where the frequency of electricity is centrally regulated in Russia.