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Saturday, 13.02.2016, 19:12
EstLink 2 officially inaugurated
An inauguration ceremony was held simultaneously in Estonia and Finland. The Estonian Minister for the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus and Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto from Finland inaugurated the connection together with Elering and Fingrid's CEOs Tavi Veskimägi and Jukka Ruusunen.
EstLink 2, at the market’s disposal since the beginning of December last year and commissioned in February 2014, has considerably increased the amount of electricity flowing between the two countries, Elering said.
"Thanks to the EstLink 2 connection, electricity markets in the Baltic Sea region took a step forward. EstLink 2 has already made market activity more efficient and improved reliability in the supply of electricity in the area. The connection has tripled the transmission capacity between Finland and Estonia and removed one of the worst transmission bottlenecks in the Baltic Sea region. Thanks to EstLink 2, electricity prices in Estonia and Finland have been harmonised. The price of electricity has equalled in both countries 85% of the time since EstLink 2 was launched," Elering stated.
The first months of EstLink 2's availability have already confirmed that the construction of a new interconnection was justified. The project brings significant benefits for society and is an example for the entire Europe on how cross-border cooperation can achieve much as long as goals on both sides of the border are the same, the CEOs of Elering and Fingrid, Taavi Veskimägi and Jukka Ruusunen, noted.
The total length of EstLink 2 is approximately 170 km, some 14 km of which is an overhead line in Finland, about 145 km a submarine cable laid on the bottom of the Gulf of Finland, and about 12 km an underground cable in Estonia.
There are converter stations at both ends of the link, used for converting direct current to alternating current, and vice versa. The submarine cable is connected to the Finnish transmission grid at the Anttila substation in Porvoo via the overhead line. In Estonia, the land cable is connected to the Estonian grid at the Püssi substation in the eastern part of the country.
The preplanning phase of EstLink 2 started in 2007 was preceded by a negotiation process where the BEMIP (Baltic Energy Market Integration Plan) project, organised by the European Commission, played a significant role. The project itself, initiated in 2010, was jointly implemented by the countries' transmission system operators Fingrid Oyj and Elering AS.
The total budget for the project is approximately 320 million euros, divided between Fingrid and Elering. EstLink 2 has received 100 million euros in investment subsidies from the European Union. The project employed dozens of companies and hundreds of workers during its construction, both in planning and practical implementation. The project has been an international one implemented by the main contractors Nexans Norway AS, Siemens AG and Siemens Osakeyhtiö consortium, Empower Oy and Bouygues Energies & Services.