NordBalt electricity interconnector announces planned maintenance shutdown

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VILNIUS, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- The NordBalt subsea cable connecting the electricity grids of Lithuania and Sweden will be temporarily shut down next week for annual maintenance, Litgrid, Lithuania's electricity transmission system operator, said on Friday.

The interconnector will be offline from 7 a.m. on Nov. 7 until 6 p.m. on Nov. 13 local time.

Maintenance work will be carried out on the NordBalt converter stations in Klaipeda and Nibru, Sweden, according to Litgrid's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rokas Masiulis.

The scope and frequency of maintenance are based on the instructions of the inverter equipment manufacturer and Litgrid's Transmission Network Operation Regulation.

Since certain premises cannot be accessed and inspected while the inverter is running, maintenance can only be carried out when the inverter is shut down.

The work was initially scheduled for Aug.29 through Sept.4, but as electricity prices climbed to record highs in August, Litgrid and Sweden's electricity transmission system operator Svenska Kraftnat agreed to postpone it for more than two months.

Lithuania's Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys told Baltic News Service (BNS) that the NordBalt cable is crucial for imports of Scandinavian electricity from Sweden. Therefore, the temporary disconnection would reduce import volumes and have a negative impact on the already high market price of electricity.

NordBalt's overall market availability stood at 100 percent in the first nine months of this year as 3.8 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity were imported from Sweden to Lithuania, accounting for around 44 percent of Lithuania's total imports, according to Litgrid.

The 700-megawatt (MW) interconnector with Sweden has been in operation since 2016. Enditem

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