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On Monday, Elering concluded a contract with Empower AS and Leonhard Weiss Energy AS for the design and construction of the main part of the third Estonia-Latvia electricity connection, or the Harku-Lihula-Sindi 330/110 kilovolt high-voltage overhead line. Work will cost approximately 60 million euros excluding VAT.

This constitutes Elering’s largest single investment in AC power lines ever. The construction of the new overhead line will not increase the network charge of Estonian electricity consumers.

“This line is important in several aspects – it will form the main part of the third Estonia-Latvia electricity connection, and it is also a requirement for the desynchronisation of the Baltic States from the Russian electricity system. At the same time, the new line will make possible the significantly more scalable integration of renewable energy into the regional electricity network,” explained Elering chairman of the board, Taavi Veskimägi.

Together with the Tartu-Viljandi-Sindi 330/110 kilovolt overhead line, which was completed three years ago, the completion of this line will complete the 330-volt ring network project covering all of Estonia, with a total cost of almost 100 million euros.

The Harku-Lihula-Sindi line will be around 175 kilometres in length. Design work will begin after the conclusion of the construction contract. Construction work will begin in the second half of next year, and a fifth of the line must be ready by the end of next year. The entire line is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.

Besides line construction, the project includes the establishment of utility corridors, the conclusion of individual right of use agreements with landowners, demolition of the current 110-kilovolt overhead line, and reconstruction of existing communications where needed.

The plan also includes changes to make the line very visible to birds. The Estonian Ornithological Society is currently carrying out bird monitoring which will end this autumn and on the basis of which the precise number of markers to be installed will be determined.

Two final bids for the construction tender were received. The offer from Empower and Leonhard Weiss was the cheaper of the two. Elering is financing the project through revenues from cross-border transmission capacity auctions and European Union funds. Money from Estonian electricity consumers will not be used for the Harku-Lihula-Sindi construction.

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From left: Mait Kesküll (Leonhard Weiss Energy), Jaanis Järvet (Empower), Taavi Veskimägi (Elering)

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