The Poland - Lithuania power interconnection LitPol Link is a part of a major project to connect power grids across the Baltic region. Execution of such large and important EU project would not be possible without coordination of works, and cooperation of all concerned countries and institutions. Cooperation happens on multiple levels and areas. At the beginning of the project, inter-governmental cooperation was essential to develop the framework of the initiative, to promote it as one of EU priorities, and to sign the relevant international agreements.
LitPol Link is an integral part of the Baltic Energy Ring, reinforcing the economic ties and collaboration between the Baltic States. It creates new opportunities for energy trading in the region, bringing the Baltic States a step closer together. Artūras Vilimas, CEO of “LitPol Link”
“LitPol Link” company was incorporated to accomplish specific tasks: to assure that the investment project preparation and implementation progresses smoothly and on time, and to support cross-border cooperation between transmission system operators. “LitPol Link” coordinates inter-operator collaboration between Poland and Lithuania by safeguarding smooth exchange of information between the contractors, which is particularly important for proper implementation of all project-related works, runs information campaigns and promotes the investment, and is focused on corporate social responsibility initiatives.
“LitPol Link” management pursues an open information policy in collaboration with the company’s shareholders – transmission system operators in Poland and Lithuania, as well as individual contractors. It holds meetings with decision-makers and journalists, delivers presentations and holds press conferences at construction sites in Poland and Lithuania to make information exchange as smooth as possible among all stakeholders.
This strategic project can only be implemented when close collaboration between local municipalities, environmental protection authorities, and NGOs is established and maintained so that a safe and optimal track of the line is selected. Conferences in Jaczno (Poland) and Alytus (Lithuania), convened at the initial stage of the project, brought together local authorities, public officials and media from Poland and Lithuania. The attendants discussed different variants of the interconnection and the main environmental problems having to do with the protection of plants and animals in the area of the investment. A dedicated platform was as also set up to facilitate discussion of important questions. Another purpose of the conference was to launch public consultations and to kick-start the promotion campaign to prepare the ground for talks and discussions about the project. All these measures have brought us a step closer to defining the route of the investment in both countries. The next step was to draw up local spatial development plans (LSDP) and environmental impact assessments, drawing from the necessary analyses and tests in the international context. Finally, the border crossing site was agreed.
With the project works in progress, a special attention is given for communication and coordination of activities between all contractors involved in the construction of the overhead power transmission line. Of vital importance was to interconnect the control and maintenance systems of power facilities internationally. Apart from keeping these facilities safe and sound, it is also important to secure effective and safe transfer of electricity between Poland and Lithuania once the new system becomes fully operational. One of the final investment stages will be to test-run the interconnection before it is commissioned. This is when individual contractors on both sides of the border will work together with the staff of electric grid control centres in Warsaw and Vilnius to prepare the interconnection for continuous operations.
The LitPol Link power bridge will interconnect the power systems and the energy infrastructure of the Baltic States and the Western Europe, thereby will help to integrate energy sector across the EU. Market integration has been specifically promoted through very close cooperation among the power transmission system operators in Poland and Lithuania: PSE S.A. and Litgrid AB, Nord Pool Spot power exchange operating in the Baltic States and Scandinavia, and TGE (The Polish Power Exchange). Electric energy trading on power exchanges and transmission over LitPol Link will be possible from early 2016.
“LitPol Link” company facilitates international dialogue and implements international social responsibility projects in both countries, as it helps to improve cooperation between Polish and Lithuanian communities. For example, the students of the Łódź University of Technology (Poland) and the Vilnius Art Academy (Lithuania) have been invited to attend the “Energy in Nature” open-air workshops in Ełk (Poland) in autumn 2014. This event was a perfect occasion to work together and to exchange views about contemporary Poland and Lithuania. The young people from Poland and Lithuania discussed about “creating ties and positive energy” between the neighbouring nations in the context of international cultural cooperation. The initiative has challenged prejudices and stereotype in favour of more tolerance and understanding. It was attended by “LitPol Link” executives, artists and academics from both universities.
Joint CSR projects bring Poles and Lithuanians closer together. They contribute to the European integration in the broad meaning of the word, and guarantee mutual cooperation, based on trust and respect, in the years to come. LitPol Link is a perfect example of a mutually beneficial corporate social responsibility, focused on people and relationships, which can hardly be quantified and pun in concrete numbers. Jacek Pochłopień, Deputy Chief Editor of the Forbes magazine
EU Member States working together in unison on a major infrastructural project is the best demonstration of the effectiveness with which large-scale tasks, important for the entire European Community, can be implemented. Achievement of common results helps to create a positive image and translates into concrete results across other aspects of international relationships. As a result of this, interest in other countries affairs, cultural exchange programs, and also knowledge about neighboring country’s people and traditions is increasing.