Beginning of construction work for Estlink submarine cable converter station

April 5, The Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications, the heads of the power companies of the Baltic States and Finland, the ambassadors of the countries involved in the project and the representatives of constructor ABB today formally laid the cornerstone for the Estlink submarine cable converter station. The event marked the launch of construction work on the mainland Estonian portion of the Estlink cable project. "Estlink is the first serious cooperation project between the electricity companies of the Baltics and Finland. I am confident it will not be the last," said Sandor Liive, chairman of the supervisory board of Nordic Energy Link and chairman of the Eesti Energia management board, at the conclusion of the event. He added that the Baltic States must have connections with the Polish and Swedish electrical systems as well. One additional cable will be required in the future between Finland and Estonia. "Only when the Baltic electrical grids are completely connected to Northern and Western Europe will the prerequisites for the creation of a functioning electricity market in the Baltics be created," Liive emphasized. The Estlink cable will be connected to the Estonian electrical system at the Harku high voltage substation. The land cable to be used in the Estlink project has now reached Estonia in its entirety, and preparations for installing the cable are under way. Construction of the converter substation and installation of the cable has also begun on the other side of the Gulf of Finland, at Espoo substation. Simultaneously, preparations for the final part of the submarine cable and the necessary equipment are in progress at ABB's plants. The next major project stages awaited are the arrival of the converter substation transformer to Estonia and the commencement of submarine cable at the end of the summer. The Estlink cable project is scheduled for final completion by the end of 2006. ABB Baltikum director Bo Henriksson said that ABB is pleased to be a partner in the unique Estlink project. "The technology used in Estlink is environmentally friendly and is well-suited to what our client desires," said Henriksson. "Cable project work has so far proceeded as planned and we believe that we will continue to stay on schedule," said Henriksson at the formal event marking the commencement of construction work. Estlink is designed to supply the Nordic electricity market with electricity generated in the Baltics. An estimated 2 TWh of electricity will be transported annually via the cable. The project will improve security of the electricity supply in the Baltic States and reduce dependence of the Baltic power systems on Russia. Estlink allows for electricity transit and provides an alternative electricity purchase channel to cover potential deficits in generating capacity. The stakeholders in the Estlink project are, from the Baltic States, Eesti Energia, Latvenergo and Lietuvos Energija; and, from Finland, Pohjolan Voima and Helsingin Energia. Additional information:
Iveri Marukashvili
Eesti Energia Communications Specialist
Tel.: +372 71 51 218
GSM.: + 372 53 411 813
E-mail: [email protected]