Prime Minister: Latvia’s goal is safety of energy supplies and economic benefits
Latvia and Baltic States have accomplished good progress in development of energy infrastructure – interconnections were built and Latvia joined NordPool exchange, says Latvia’s Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.
On Thursday, 1 February, Kučinskis met in Riga with European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. During the meeting, the two discussed matters associated with synchronization of Baltic States’ power lines in the European Union, energy trade with third countries, as well as topical developments in the regional gas market.
Kučinskis thanked Šefčovič for the support provided for the integration of Baltic States in European Union’s energy infrastructure. Šefčovič mentioned that Baltic States can be considered examples of success for EU’s energy policy.
«One of the most important objectives for Baltic States is the resynchronization of Baltic power lines from Russia’s network and their subsequent synchronization with Europe’s networks. By realizing the synchronization project, it is in Latvia’s interest to pick the best scenario that will ensure the system’s stability at the lowest costs and tariffs in a long-term perspective,» said the prime minister.
It is mentioned that Latvia continues supporting synchronization of Baltic power lines with continental Europe through Poland, as well as the need for further technical and economical evaluation to study the effect from synchronization. The prime minister also mentioned that Baltic and Polish transmission system operators have reached an agreement on future evaluation, results from which are expected in May. Based on results of the study it will be possible to make the final decision in regards to the synchronization scenario and technical side of things.
Kučinskis also emphasized the importance of EU funding for the realization of this project.
As for the gas market, it was emphasized that Latvia’s gas market has been successfully opened – a year has not passed, but the network already has more than 35 traders registered in it.
The gas market will be opened for households this year. Unbundling of gas transmission and storage system operator’s ownership rights will continue. Formation of a regional gas market by 2020 is a major challenge, one important pre-condition for which is creation of regional infrastructure, modernization of Inčukalns gas storage facility, GIPL and Balticconectorm gas interconnections projects, the prime minister concluded.