With Lithuania taking steps to block market access to electricity generated by Belarus’ Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Latvia’s electricity transmission grid operator is planning to import electrical energy from the facility under construction close to the Lithuanian border.
Therefore, electricity trade between the Baltic states and third countries will no longer take place via Lithuania, but via Latvia, the 15min online news site reported.
According to AST, in order to mitigate, in a timely manner, the risks of a possible reduction in electricity flow or negative tariff fluctuations, the Latvian government has given the green light for moving electricity trade to the Latvian border once Lithuania suspends it.
Latvia has consulted Lithuania, Estonia and the European Commission on such a decision, the Latvian operator said.
Lithuania’s power transmission operator Litgrid says consultations did take place, but there was no agreement with Latvia.
Currently, electricity trade between the Baltic states and third countries is only carried out through the Lithuanian-Belarusian border.
Arvydas Sekmokas, a former energy minister, told the news site that the Astravyets plant’s electricity will continue to come to Lithuania, but it will be Latvians who will conclude transactions.
Virginijus Poderys, chairman of the Seimas Commission for Energy and Sustainable Development, admits that the news from Latvia is worrisome and will likely open the Lithuanian market to electricity from the Belarusian plant.
Lithuania has a law banning electricity imports from the Astravyets plant.
Spectrum Baltic, another Latvian company, plans to import electricity to Lithuania from Russia’s Kaliningrad region and has already obtained the necessary permit.
The Latvian company has a preliminary non-binding electricity purchase and sale contract with Baltiyskaya AES, an electricity trade company established by Russia’s Rosenergoatom.
According to 15min.lt, Baltiyskaya AES can trade in electricity generated both in Kaliningrad and anywhere else, provided that there is the necessary cross border capacity between the Russian exclave and Lithuania.
In June, Spectrum Baltic was issued with a permit to import electricity to Lithuania from Belarus. The company has promised to tell LETA/BNS by late September if it plans to import power from Astravyets.