Agreement signed to carry out feasibility study for the enhancement of Latvia - Lithuania interconnection

Lithuanian gas transmission system operator AB Amber Grid and Latvian unified natural gas transmission and storage operator Conexus Baltic Grid AS has signed an agreement with an independent expert company EY to carry out both feasibility study and cost-benefit analysis for the Enhancement of Latvia-Lithuania Interconnection. Expert company was selected in an international tender.

The study should analyse what are the capacity enhancement needs for Latvia-Lithuania interconnection point for regional market and security of supply purposes after regional infrastructure is built, such as interconnection between Finland and Estonia (Balticconnector) and interconnection between Poland and Lithuania (GIPL). The study should also include technical parameters of needed infrastructure, cost-benefit analysis and other project related data.

The initial Project consists of enhancement of capacity of Kiemėnai metering station in Lithuania and building of a new pipeline from Rīga to Lithuanian border, however other solutions are possible, which shall be assessed.

The Project of Enhancement of Latvia-Lithuania Interconnection was included into the List of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) adopted by European Commission. It is also included in the BEMIP Gas priority corridor.

Initial assessment shows that there is a need of parallel pipeline in Latvia from Lithuania’s border to Riga (up to 93 km) and the upgrade of gas metering station (MS) in Kiemėnai. However, there are other options available for increase of the interconnection capacity limited by current throughput of the pipeline, for example, the increase of the pressure in Latvian section of the existing pipeline Rīga-Panevėžys.

The current capacity of the cross border point is limited to 67.6 GWh/d from Lithuania to Latvia, and 65.1 GWh/d from Latvia to Lithuania. Due to new gas import routes from Lithuania to other Baltic States (Klaipėda LNG terminal operational since end of 2014), upcoming infrastructure developments in the gas market of the Baltic States such as construction of the GIPL between Poland and Lithuania (by the end of 2021) as well as the Balticconnector (by the end of 2019) between Finland and Estonia, prove the importance of Latvia-Lithuania interconnection for the market is going to increase in medium-term perspective. The current capacities will limit the cross border trade between the Member States thus reducing liquidity of the common gas market in the Baltic States.