Natural Gas Transmission System Operator
Gas transmission capacity to Latvia to increase by a third from 1 November
As Lithuania and its neighbours increase focus on their gas supply options, the gas transmission capacity from Lithuania to the Latvian gas system will be increased by one third to 90 gigawatt hours (GWh) per day from 1 November. This will be done by accelerating the implementation of the ELLI strategic project. Market participants will be able to transport more gas both to storage in Latvia and for the needs of Latvia, Estonia and Finland. 
This advanced increase of gas transmission capacity from Lithuania to Latvia has been agreed by the transmission system operators of both countries, Amber Grid and Conexus Baltic Grid. Both companies are implementing the ELLI project, a strategic project to increase the capacity of the gas pipeline link between Lithuania and Latvia.
"By significantly increasing the capacity of the interconnector between Lithuania and Latvia, we will be able to transport more gas from the Klaipėda LNG terminal or from Poland to Latvia even before the ELLI project is completed. The lack of capacity on this interconnection has been strongly felt since early spring. The increase already this autumn is important because it will create more flexibility for market participants to deliver gas imported into Lithuania to the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility in Latvia, as well as to meet the needs of Latvia, Estonia and Finland for the coming cold period. Increased cross-border capacity with Latvia means an even more significant role for Lithuania in gas transit to other EU countries," says Vytautas Ruolia, Amber Grid's Commercial Director. 
In Lithuania, the ELLI project includes the reconstruction of the Kiemėnai gas metering station and the Panevėžys gas compressor station. It is expected that all planned works in Lithuania will be completed by the end of this year. In Latvia, the project work to increase capacity will continue in 2023. Once fully completed, the gas interconnector between Latvia and Lithuania will increase roughly twice. 
The reconstruction of the Kiemėnai gas metering station, which ensures gas flows between Lithuania and Latvia, started this spring, with the arrival of the main equipment, the installation of an additional metering line and the installation of an enlarged gas metering building. The installation of the equipment and the connection of the newly installed line to the main gas pipeline are planned to be completed in the next few months. This work is being carried out by the energy contracting company MT Group. The other stage of the project - the upgrade of the gas pipeline to the Panevėžys Gas Compressor Station - is being carried out by Alvora. 
After the completion of the GIPL pipeline interconnection between Lithuania and Poland this year, the ELLI project is the second most important gas market integration project under implementation. It also strengthens the security and reliability of gas supplies in the region. Increasing gas transmission capacity between Lithuania and Latvia will provide the market with more flexible access to the Klaipėda LNG terminal, Latvia's Inčukalns underground gas storage facility and the GIPL interconnector with Poland. The strong gas infrastructure network created will allow for the transmission of larger gas flows from the European continent to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland and vice versa. 
The project has received funding from the European Commission's Executive Agency for the Climate, Innovation and Networks Programme (CINEA). The total investment by Lithuania and Latvia for this project will amount to €10.2 million. Lithuania's investment in the project will amount to €4.7 million, of which €2.1 million will be funded by the European Commission's Connecting Europe Facility. 
The project will increase the capacity of the gas interconnector to 130.5 GWh/day in the Latvian direction and to 119.5 GWh/day in the Lithuanian direction. 
The ELLI project is included in the EU's List of Projects of Common Interest, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) Ten Year Development Plan and the Implementation Plan for the National Electricity and Natural Gas Transmission Infrastructure Priority Projects.     
ELLI is Amber Grid's third strategic project, following the Klaipėda-Kuršėnai pipeline, completed in 2015, which allowed the LNG terminal in Klaipėda to reach its full capacity, and the GIPL pipeline with Poland, which is operational since May 2022. 
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