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Lithuania’s Litgrid sets zero capacity for commercial electricity flow from Belarus

Lithuania’s electricity transmission system operator Litgrid has set zero capacity for commercial electricity flow from Belarus.

This is the measure taken to fulfil the requirements of the Law on Necessary Measures to Protect Against Unsafe Threats of Nuclear Power Plants in Third Countries. With the zero capacity, electricity market participants will not be able to trade commercial electricity exchanges between Belarus and Lithuania.

“The position of Lithuania on the Astravets NPP, which is a geopolitical project of Russia on the land of Belarus, is consistent, stable and written in the law: it is a threat to our national security and our citizens,” said the Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. “After recording the start of electricity production in this unsafe power plant, our transmission system operator immediately implemented the requirement established by the law – it completely blocks access to the Lithuanian market through Lithuania-Belarus border and prevents the use of Lithuanian electricity infrastructure for the needs of Astravets NPP. These national measures ensure that Astravets NPP electricity is not traded on our market, but no less important are the regionally achieved solutions to prevent Astravets NPP electricity from entering the Baltic electricity market and the EU must play a critical role in nuclear safety.”

“Following the law, from the start of operations of Astravets NPP, Litgrid will not provide Belarus with an emergency power reserve, which is in the hydro storage capacity at the Kruonis power plant,” added Giedrius Radvila, Director of the System Management Department at Litgrid. “Currently, there is no automation that could activate the units of the Kruonis Hydro Accumulation Power Plant to be used for Astravets NPP for managing congestion in the grid. We continue to monitor the situation and are ready to take the necessary steps to ensure the reliability of the Lithuanian electricity system.”

Lithuania will use the capacity of the Kruonis Hydro Accumulation Power Plant for its local needs, also will use interconnections with Poland and Sweden and balancing capacities in the balancing market of the Baltic States.

According to the analysts at Litgrid, electricity imports from Belarus in the first half of this year amounted to 0.3 terawatts-hour (TWh) or about 5 per cent of all electricity imported. Lithuania imports majority of electricity from Sweden and in the first half of the year, imports reached 45 per cent.

Nevertheless, the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian electricity systems will be physically separated from Belarus and Russia in 2025, following the implementation of synchronisation with the continental European grid.

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