Creation date: September 11, 2019
Dirk Beckers, Director of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), took part in the inauguration ceremony of the Kurzeme Ring (KR) today, in presence of Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš and representatives from the project promoters, Augstsprieguma tīkls AS and Latvijas elektriskie tikli AS.
“EU funding to this strategic energy infrastructure project helped to support the future power market among the Baltic Member States and beyond. This new electricity line ensures the stable and reliable electricity supply in Western Latvia and also contributes towards the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) connection to the transmission network,” said Dirk Beckers, in his official opening speech at the inauguration ceremony.
The KR is an energy infrastructure project involving the construction of a 330 kV high-voltage overhead power line in Western Latvia to ensure the possibility of connecting increased generation capacities in Kurzeme. The third phase of the project involved the construction of a new internal line between Ventspils, Tume and Imanta that benefited from €55 million of EU support through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme. The KR constitutes a part of the larger NordBalt project - an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI 4.4) - aiming at the construction of an interconnection between Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden to improve the power supply reliability in the Baltic region.
The CEF programme in the field of energy provides funding to infrastructure projects in electricity, natural gas and smart grids with the aim to better interconnect energy networks towards a single energy market in Europe. The programme supports the key objectives of the Energy Union by promoting further integration of the internal energy market, enhancing security of energy supply and integrating energy from renewable sources into the network.
In 2019, the European Commission made available €750 million of EU funding to finance PCIs in the sectors of electricity, smart grids, cross-border carbon dioxide networks and gas infrastructure.