AST begins the reconstruction of the Valmiera-Tartu and Valmiera-Tsirgulina transmission lines

Development

Karte_Valmieras_linijas.PNGOne of the most important projects for synchronization of Baltic electricity networks with continental Europe - reconstruction costs of 330kV power transmission lines from Valmiera-Tartu and Valmiera-Tsirgulina will be 24.7 million EUR, as provided in the contract concluded between the Latvian transmission system operator AS Augstsprieguma tīkls (AST) and the general partnership "Empower and Leonhard Weiss".

"Reconstruction of lines from Valmiera to Estonia is one of the most important projects to ensure synchronization of Baltic electricity networks with Europe, as it will cover sufficient transmission capacity and security of energy supply together with the new 330kV power transmission line "Estonia-Latvia 3rd interconnection" from Riga TEC- 2 to Kilingi-Nõmme in Estonia. The project is included in the second stage of the Baltic electricity synchronization project and has received 75% co-financing from the funding of the European Union Connecting Europe Facility, says Member of the Board of AST, Imants Zviedris.

The project envisages the reconstruction of two lines built in the 1960s and 1970s. Within the framework of reconstruction, it is not planned to change the power line route and voltage level - it will be built as an overhead 330kV line on the existing 330kV overhead line route, installing new poles and wires. As a result of the reconstruction, it is possible to change the locations of the rebuilt power line poles along the axis of the existing line. It is planned to begin the construction in 2022 and the line from Valmiera to Tartu is planned to be reconstructed first, and after the completion of these works in 2023, the reconstruction of the line from Valmiera to Tsirgulin will be started. It is planned to finish the works before the end of 2024.

By implementing the Latvian energy supply security and independence policy, the Cabinet of Ministers has determined the status of an object of national interest for the project "Reconstruction of the Valmiera-Tartu and Valmiera-Tsirgulina Power 330 kVTransmission Lines in the territory of Latvia". At the beginning of 2018, an initial environmental impact assessment was performed for both power transmission lines, and on March 5, 2018, the Valmiera Regional Environmental Board of the State Environmental Service decided not to apply the environmental impact assessment procedure to both lines by issuing technical regulations to be observed during the reconstruction of both power transmission lines.

Public consultations on the reconstruction of both lines were conducted in the municipalities whose territories they cross. The public consultation in Strenči municipality took place on March 11 last year, informing the participants about the project activities and answering questions from landowners and other interested parties, while the public consultations in Beverīna and Valka municipalities were organized remotely due to the emergency situation caused by Covid-19. Information about the project was individually sent to the landowners in Beverīna and Valka municipalities and it included an opportunity to send questions of interest until July 24, last year. All written and oral questions and comments were answered.

Currently, both lines in the section from the substation in Valmiera to the Latvian border across Kauguri, Brenguļi, Trikāta and Plāņi parishes of Valmiera municipality, as well as Valka parish of Valka municipality. As the location of the lines will not change significantly, only for a few individual landowners the amount of the encumbrance will change, for which compensation will be calculated and paid.

The line reconstruction measures are aimed at providing sufficient infrastructure for the energy independence of the Baltic states from the Russian interconnected electricity system and they serve as a prerequisite for the successful synchronization of electricity systems of the Baltic states into the electricity systems of continental Europe, that is scheduled for 2025.

In total, five applicants qualified for the procurement, four of whom participated in the second round of the negotiated procedure and submitted a tender. More information about the project can be found on the AST website https://www.ast.lv/en/transmission-network-projects/reconstruction-existing-latvija-estonia-330kv-interconnections.