Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction of a section of the Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania (GIPL) in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania has been approved

The GIPL project has entered a new stage of works. On 21 August the Environmental Protection Agency under the Ministry of the Environment decided to give permission to perform planned economic activities in connection to the construction of GIPL in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. A special plan for laying the approved route (with a 250 metre wide corridor) is being prepared and will be followed by a technical design.

EIA report covers the assessment of the final impact of prospective economic activities on social-economic environment, human health, soil, ambient air, bodies of water, biodiversity, landscape, cultural values and other components of the environment. The route of the gas transmission pipeline was selected trying to avoid a significant negative environmental impact; measures to reduce and compensate negative impact were provided.

The decision of the Environmental Protection Agency was taken pursuant to the findings of institutions, which have verified the EIA report, and in consideration of the suggestions given by society. In order to familiarize and encourage society to engage in the environmental impact assessment process, EIA reports were published in the national and local press, handed out at public gathering places and appeared on  www.ambergrid.lt the presentation of reports took place in all 22 neighbourhoods through the territory of which the pipeline route will run.

“In our daily activities and in the implementation of projects of strategic significance we strictly observe the environmental protection requirements, so works are carried out in such a way as to minimise the final impact of the construction of the gas pipeline on the quality of life of people living in the area. Our company’s activities, implemented projects, and decision taken on EIA report testify that local communities, environmentalists, and persons responsible for cultural heritage trust the provided solutions and selected measures to reduce the impact on the environment and households,” – says Saulius Bilys, CEO of AB Amber Grid.

The total projected length of GIPL is 534 km, of which approximately 177 km will be in the territory of Lithuania. The 700 mm diameter gas transmission pipeline will connect gas compressor stations in Jauniūnai (Lithuania) and Rembelszczyzna (near Warsaw in Poland).

In 2013 the GIPL project was included in the list of the EU Projects of Common Interest by the European Commission. In 2014 the Lithuanian part of the GIPL project was recognised as an economic project of national significance by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The project has also been included in the Ten-Year Network Development Plan of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSO-G) and in the Gas Regional Investment Plan of the Transmission System Operators from the BEMIP region (Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan), as well as in the National Energy Independence Strategy approved by the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania and the National Plan of Implementation of the Priority Projects in Electricity and Natural Gas Transmission Infrastructure approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

The estimated value of the GIPL project is EUR 558 million including 422 million EUR in the territory of Poland and 136 million EUR in the territory of Lithuania. Launch into operation of the GIPL is scheduled for the end of 2019.

Preparatory implementation works of the GIPL project were commenced in 2009. The GIPL business environment analysis was prepared in 2011 and the feasibility study of GIPL in 2013. The GIPL environmental impact assessment procedures in the territory of Lithuania were commenced in the second half of 2013. As AB Amber Grid signed a contract with UAB Ardynas, a company engaged in territorial planning and design works, in July of this year another important stage – the preparation of the GIPL special plan – was commenced.

The completion of territorial planning works is scheduled for 2016.     

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