Brussels, 13 May 2014
€60 million of EU Regional Fund investments to complete Poland-Lithuania power link for energy security and Europe's energy market
The European Commission has today approved an investment of €60 million from the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) to complete the construction of the electrical grid between Poland and Lithuania. This particular project will focus on the building of the power transmission line between the city of Ełk and the Polish-Lithuanian border in the Polish regions Podlaskie and Warmińsko-Mazurskie. It is the fifth major project of the 'Poland-Lithuania power link' to guarantee the transmission of electricity from Poland to Lithuania. It will also help complete the European energy market by integrating electricity energy markets of Poland and the three Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and improve the power supply for companies and individual customers alike. This could also help to reduce the dependence of Poland and the Baltic States on external power exports.
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn, who signed this decision today, said: “The issue of energy security and supply is vital for the European Union, and we know how keenly it is felt, in particularly in countries like Poland and the Baltics States at this time.
Projects like this address the question of the reliance on external power exports and they are vital to ensure the fulfilment of the European single energy market. It is of great strategic importance to develop the connection between Poland and Lithuania."
The investment comes through the Infrastructure and Environment Operational Programme under the priority axis "Energy security, including diversification of energy sources". The European Union, through the ERDF, will finance €60 million out of a total investment of € EUR 193.7 million. It is expected to be implemented by October 2015.
This project forms part of the 'Poland-Lithuania power link project' and also part of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) which is designed to fully integrate the electrical energy markets of the three Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia with the other electrical energy markets in Europe.
The current decision is the fifth major project of the ‘Poland-Lithuania power link’. The other major projects forming part of the whole investments were:
The co-financing decision for this project falls under the programming period 2007-2013. Poland has been allocated approximately €67 billion in total cohesion policy funding from 2007-2013 and €77.3 billion (current prices) for 2014-2020.
This is a "major project", of which the total investment (VAT included) is above €50 million and thus subject to a specific decision by the European Commission, whereas projects of a lower value are approved at national or regional levels.