20.06.2013
The Project for the Enhancement of the Capacity of the Gas Interconnection between Latvia and Lithuania has been successfully implemented 7 months ahead of deadline
The information hereunder was posted by AB Lietuvos Dujos, which carried out natural gas transmission activities before the establishment of AB Amber Grid.

The newly implemented project was primarily aimed at enhancing the capacity of the Latvia-Lithuania natural gas interconnection, ensuring security of gas supplies in the region and closer integration of the natural gas systems of the Baltic States. The completion of the project resulted in the following enhancement of the daily gas supply capacities of the cross-border gas interconnection: in the Lithuania-Latvia direction – up to 6.48 mcm/day and in the Latvia-Lithuania direction – up to 6.24 mcm/day.

On 14 July 2009, AB Lietuvos Dujos and AS Latvijas Gāze submitted a joint application to the European Commission (EC) seeking financial assistance for a joint project “Enhancement of bi-directional interconnection capacity between Latvia and Lithuania” according to the Baltic Interconnection Plan of the EC European Energy Programme for Recovery. The project was implemented ahead of the implementation deadline indicated in the EC decision, which was December 2013. The Final Report on the implementation of the project was submitted to the EC at the beginning of June 2013.

The works for the implementation of the cross-border project were carried out in the territories of both Lithuania and Latvia. The project works in the territory of Lithuania were carried out by AB Lietuvos Dujos, and the project works in the territory of Latvia were carried out by AS Latvijas Gāze.

In the territory of Latvia, the project works that were carried out comprised the works for the modernization of the gas transmission system in the direction of Lithuania and modernization of the Incukalns Underground Gas Storage Facility. A new river crossing of the Rīga-Vilnius pipeline was constructed beneath the River Daugava by performing a 1,300 m horizontal underground drilling 30 m under the riverbed. The new river crossing replaced the gas pipeline which was outdated and not suitable for diagnostics. Meanwhile at the Incukalns Underground Gas Storage Facility, 17 wells were reconstructed to improve their safety and performance. The Incukalns Underground Gas Storage Facility is a strategic gas facility of regional importance, rendering gas storage services to Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Russia. It was constructed more than 40 years ago. So also in the future, the reconstruction of the wells of the Incukalns UGS Facility will remain a priority of the reconstruction works carried out by AS Latvijas Gāze.

In the territory of Lithuania, the project works that were carried out comprised the works for the modernisation and enhancement of the reliability of the Panevėžys Gas Compressor Station and works for the reconstruction of a number of sections of the Vilnius-Rīga gas transmission pipeline, works for the replacement of the line block valve systems by new ones including the bypass lines, works for the connection of the gas pipeline branches constructed to the M&R stations to the newly constructed second parallel running natural gas transmission pipeline, works for the installation of isolating joints.

The total project value amounted to EUR 29.6 million, of which EUR 5.4 million were invested in Lithuania (the project works were implemented by AB Lietuvos Dujos) and EUR 24.2 million were invested in Latvia (the project works were implemented by AS Latvijas Gāze). Up to 50% of the project costs were co-financed with the funds of the EC European Energy Programme for Recovery.

“The project aimed at enhancing capacity of the gas interconnection between Latvia and Lithuania is an excellent example of what can be achieved through close cooperation between the gas companies of the neighbouring EU Member States, the European Commission and the state authorities. This joint initiative may be seen as a significant contribution to the enhancement of the reliability of gas supplies to gas consumers of Lithuania, because of the enhanced gas supply capacities to/from the Incukalns Underground Gas Storage Facility, and to the market players of Latvia and other Baltic States countries – facilitating the use to the full extent of the opportunities of the pending gas supply diversification projects,” said Mr Viktoras Valentukevicius, General Manager of AB Lietuvos Dujos.

The Chairman of the Board of AS Latvijas Gāze, Adrians Davis, empahsized the following points: “The works completed in Latvia were very complicated as the reconstruction of the wells took place without interrupting the operation of the UGS Facility and the drilling under Daugava, the biggest river in the Baltics, was a unique solution. The UGS Facility’s role in the region will increase with the emergence of new supply routes, therefore it is important to take due care of the capacities and safety of the UGS Facility and the interconnections. The co-funding of the European Union was a new experience for us, and we must thank the European Commission and our Lithuanian partners for the great cooperation. We are certainly looking forward to a further cooperation with the European Commission in modernizing the UGS Facility and other projects contributing to the gas supply security situation in the region.”
 

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