A Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grant of €323 million was awarded to support the first phase of investments necessary for the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity network with the European system.
Signed in the presence of Mr Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate action and energy, Mr Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, Minister for Energy of Lithuania, Mr Edijs Šaicāns, Director of Energy and Infrastructure of the Ministry of Economics of Latvia, Mr Jaanus Uiga, expert from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, and Mr Dominique Ristori, Director-General for Energy of the European Commission, the grant will be used for reinforcements of the Baltic grid.
The synchronisation is a symbol for European solidarity in energy. Thanks to the continuous drive of the Commission over the years, the leaders of the Baltic States and Poland reached a landmark agreement on 28 of June 2018 and signed a Political Roadmap together with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for accomplishing the synchronisation by the target date of 2025.
Whilst formerly an "energy island", the Baltic States region is now connected with European partners through recently established electricity lines with Poland (LitPol Link), Sweden (NordBalt) and Finland (Estlink 1 and Estlink 2). These projects were made possible and built with EU support. For historical reasons, however, the Baltic States' electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with the Russian and Belarusian systems.
The synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity grid with the continental European network (CEN) is an essential political priority for the achievement of the Energy Union. The relevant grid reinforcements have been included in the third EU list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). Projects on the PCI list are also eligible to receive Connecting Europe Facility-Energy funding.