Latvia-Lithuania Interconnection Improvement Project to complete 70% of planned work by the end of the year
The project "Enhancing the capacity of the Latvia-Lithuania interconnector" (ELLI), jointly implemented by the common natural gas transmission and storage system operator Conexus Baltic Grid AS (Conexus) and the Lithuanian natural gas transmission system operator Amber Gid, will complete 70% of the planned works by the end of 2022. Already in November this year, the interconnector's capacity towards Latvia was increased to 90 GWh per day, giving system users more options to supply and store natural gas in the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility or transport it within the Single Market Area.
ELLI project was launched in 2019 as a European project of common interest and involves the implementation of 17 sub-projects, resulting in an increase of the Latvian-Lithuanian gas interconnection capacity. Currently, 10 of the 17 sub-projects have been completed in Latvia, but 2 more sub-projects are planned to be completed by the end of the year, bringing the completion rate this year to 70%.
Aleksejs Batrakovs, Head of Technical Development and Investment, Conexus: "The Latvia-Lithuania interconnector capacity upgrade project is an important element in strengthening energy security for the whole region. The project will double the gas interconnection capacity between Latvia and Lithuania in both directions and will give market participants more flexibility to supply Lithuanian gas imports to the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility. We are already seeing system users actively diversifying their sources of supply, increasingly sourcing natural gas from the Klaipeda LNG terminal."
As part of the ELLI project, the transmission pipeline system has been evaluated for operation at pressures up to 50 bar to determine the scope of the required system modifications. A comprehensive diagnostic of the transmission pipelines was also carried out, which led to the identification of pipeline fault sections that were successfully replaced during the project, allowing the pipelines to be pressurised. In parallel, extensive transmission infrastructure rehabilitation works were carried out, including the rehabilitation of several line taps, connection junctions, branches to gas reduction stations, as well as the replacement of several pipeline sections.
By the end of 2022, it is planned to complete the reconstruction of the transmission gas pipeline branch to the gas regulation station "Ezerciems" and the transmission gas pipeline branch to the gas regulation station "Krimulda".
Construction work has already started on the reconstruction of the transmission pipeline branch to the Daugmale gas regulation station, which is planned to be completed by September 2023, as well as the reconstruction of the transmission pipeline branch to the Zaķumuiža gas regulation station, the transmission pipeline branch to the Vangaži gas regulation station and the reconstruction of two sections of the Riga - Inčukalns underground gas storage pipeline at the Inčukalns transmission pipeline connection junction, to be completed by August 2023.
The ELLI project is implemented until the end of 2023. The project is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility.