Commemorating the completion of electricity transmission network reinforcement project "Kurzeme Ring" by Latvian electricity transmission system operator Augstsprieguma tīkls AS (AST), on 11 of September, Prime Minister of Latvia, Mr.Krišjānis Kariņš, Mr.Dirk Beckers, Director of Innovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and Mr.Varis Boks, Chairman of the AST Management Board, inaugurated the final third stage of the "Kurzeme Ring" project.
"We are pleased with the successful completion of the project within the planned timeframe, respecting the highest construction quality requirements and thus the requirements of the security of electricity supply. This is significant step towards the improvement of the security of electricity supply providing possibilities for grid connection not only for new electricity consumers but also for new producers of electricity in the Kurzeme region, known for its significant wind energy development potential, "says Mr. Varis Boks, Chairman of the AST Management Board.
"The "Kurzeme Ring" is a strategically important project for the Latvian economy, it is like a major freeway located on these overhead power line pylons. It will ensure that in the future, as our economy develops and electrifies, we will be able to serve our growth, including renewable energy projects. Thank you to all, who worked on this project, for the job well done! Thank you to Mr. Boks, the head of the "Augstsprieguma tikls", and his team!", Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš emphasized during the solemn address.
"Indeed, CEF’s contribution of 55 million euro to this project helped to support the future power market among the Baltic Member States and beyond. So far PCIs in Latvia have received a total of 230.5 million euro in CEF funding since 2014. It is the fifth highest amount among all Member States. For us at INEA, it is a great pleasure to work with the Latvian beneficiaries AST and LET who always aim to deliver to the highest quality. In particular, I would like to congratulate AST and LET for the management of such big project and keeping the budget as close as possible to the estimated one. We also appreciate that AST respect deadlines and are always available for a latest update. It is one of the best practice cases that we have seen at INEA," the successful cooperation experience was appreciated by Mr. Dirk Beckers, Director of INEA.
The Kurzeme Ring is one of the most ambitious electricity transmission network reinforcement projects since the restoration of independence of Latvia. 127 million EUR have been invested in the construction of the third stage of the project from Ventspils to Riga, including 55 million EUR of co-financing by the European Union. The length of newly constructed line reaches 207 kilometers and it is crossing over 11 municipalities. The construction of the line is performed by the partnership of construction companies LEC, RECK and Empower community on order from AST.
Project implementation in the territory of Latvia has been divided into three stages, the first two of which - construction of 330kV electricity transmission cable line in Riga and reconstruction of 110kV electricity transmission lines in the Grobina – Ventspils section by reinforcing them with 330kV line - have already been implemented. Construction work on the third stage of the project began in summer of 2017.
Reconstruction of 110 kV electricity transmission lines of Kurzeme Ring in the section Ventspils - Tume - Imanta connects the 330 kV substation "Ventspils" located in 38 Robezu Street in Ventspils, and 330 kV Substation "Imanta" in Riga, 25 Kleistu Street, on its way crossing territory of Ventspils city, territories of Ventspils, Dundaga, Talsi, Kandava, Tukums, Engure and Babīte counties, as well as territories of Jurmala and Riga cities. As a result of the reconstruction, the location of the electricity transmission line remained essentially within the right-of-way of the existing electricity transmission lines.
"Kurzeme Ring" is the first strategically important electricity transmission system infrastructure project implemented during the period of restored Republic of Latvia that will improve the supply of electricity and its stability in Kurzeme region, as well as increase the possibility of new connections in the region - thus providing an important contribution to strengthening of Latvia's economic capabilities. With implementation of the new 330kV ring line, the reliability of electricity supply has been significantly improved both in everyday situations and in case of storms, thus eliminating the possible power deficit in Kurzeme region, and increasing the possibility of new electricity connections.
During the implementation of the Project investments to the reinforcement of substations have been made – complete reconstruction of 110kV switchgear at Talsi, Dundaga, Kandava, Valdemārpils and Priedaine substations by dismantling the old one and rebuilding it completely, while Tume, Tukums, Dzintari, Sloka and Kemeri 110 kV substations received the transit current rating increase – by changing the connection bay equipment, busbars, measuring transformers etc. In addition a new 110kV distribution point – "Kemeri Park" – has been constructed, as well as a new 330kV switchgear in substation "Tume", including installation of 330/110kV 125MVA autotransformer and 120MVAr shunt reactor, as well as the extension of 330kV substation "Imanta" in Riga have been completed.