- Elering and Fingrid Conclude a Framework Agreement for Construction of the Estlink 2 Undersea Cable
Today Taavi Veskimägi, CEO of Elering, and Jukka Ruusunen, CEO of Fingrid Oy, concluded a framework agreement in Tallinn for the construction of the Estlink 2 undersea cable. Veskimägi said that once the electricity market has been successfully opened in Estonia, the agreement will allow a 300-million-euro investment to be made and will add 650 MW of additional capacity between Estonia and Finland, considerably improving the security of supply in Estonia and in the other Baltic States.
“Building the Estlink 2 cable is the first priority in Estonia’s energy economy for the security of supply of Estonia and the Baltic States and to link the entire region to the Nordic area. This will become possible only after the partial opening of the electricity market on April 1 has been successfully achieved. The opening of the market will allow additional links to be built, and we are now only the length of Estlink 2 away from having a competitive market operating in every hour,” said Veskimägi. He added that the framework agreement creates a clear base for further joint activities with Fingrid with the aim of bringing the cable into operation at the start of 2014. “Cooperation with Fingrid has given a lot of positives to the development of Elering. The cooperation between Fingrid and Elering is the key to creating a common Baltic and Nordic electricity market,” added Veskimägi. Jukka Ruusunen, CEO of Fingrid believes that Estlink 2 is an important step in creating a common Baltic Sea energy network. It would provide an advantage to the entire region in increasing its energy supply and creating an even more efficient electricity market. Ruusunen believes the network is also necessary in order to link the objectives set for the Baltic Sea countries to improve the environment of the Baltic Sea. The 650 MW Estlink 2 working alongside Estlink I would allow an increase in the connection capacity between Estonia and Finland to up to 1000 MW. In comparison, Estonia’s five-minute average peak load electricity consumption this winter reached a record 1587 MW on the evening of January 28 at 19.45-19.50. The framework agreement concluded today lays out the bilateral actions needed until the autumn of 2010. The European Union is planning to put 100 million euros into funding the Estlink 2 project. The environmental impact expert analysis of Estlink 2 is in its final stages. At the end of January, seven applications were filed in the procurement qualification round for two converter substations and cables. Elering is a company that runs energy transmission and guarantees the operating reliability of the electricity system which unites Estonia’s largest power plants, distribution networks and large users into an integral energy system.