Energy union: EU supports Celtic interconnector and Baltic synchronisation project at policy conference on interconnected energy grids

Press release from the European Commission

In the margins of the PCI Energy days on 3 and 4 December 2019 in Brussels, two Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grants were signed to support the construction of the Celtic Interconnector between Ireland and France, and studies for the development of the  Harmony Link Interconnector between Lithuania and Poland.

The ceremony took place in the presence of Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy and Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Trade for the European Commission, and was chaired by the Director-General for Energy, Ditte Juul Jørgensen. Sean Canney, Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs and Digital Development of Ireland, Fabrice Dubreuil, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the European Union, Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, Minister of Energy, Lithuania, and Piotr Naimski, Plenipotentiary of the Government of Poland for Strategic Energy Infrastructure represented the directly involved Member States.

Commissioner Simson said:

Today, once again, we are showing the world how European solidarity works in the energy sector. With the signature of these two grants, we consolidate our energy union built to provide security of supply for all citizens. The Harmony Link electricity interconnector is part of the Baltic Synchronisation Project, an endeavour that will result in the full integration of the Baltic States grids with the rest of Europe. Europe’s energy infrastructure must advance in line with our clean energy transition and with these two projects, we’ll take a step closer to our goals.

Commissioner Hogan said:

Through the development of the energy union, the European Commission has prioritised the issue of energy security. The Celtic Interconnector will ensure a reliable high-capacity link improving the security of electricity supply and supporting the development of renewables in both Ireland and France. The award of €530 million to this project is a further illustration of the real added-value which the European Union can offer to its citizens.

For the Celtic Interconnection, €530 million were awarded, to develop this new electrical link between France and Ireland by 2026, with an approximate length of 600 km and capacity of 700 MW, enough to power 450,000 households. The feasibility study and the initial design and pre-consultation for the Celtic Interconnector were also carried out with the support of the CEF programme.

As for grant of €10.29 million for studies for the development of the Harmony Link electricity interconnector, the action is a part of the synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity network with the European system. 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. A follow-up Political Implementing Roadmap was signed in June 2019 setting out the milestones up to the synchronisation date.

PCIs, or Projects of Common Interest, are key cross border infrastructure projects that link the energy systems of EU countries. They help the EU achieve its energy and climate policy objectives for affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all Europeans and ultimately the full decarbonisation of our economy by allowing energy to flow freely from where it is produced to where it is needed, from one Member State to the other.

Date of publication: 3 Dec 2019

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