Baltic States agree to block nuclear power from Belarus

03 September 2020

The ministries responsible for the energy sector in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have reached an agreement to cease electricity trading with Belarus when it commissions its nuclear power plant and to introduce a system of certificates stating the origin of electricity.

Ostrovets unit 1 in Belarus (Image: BelAES)

They have also established a single tariff for infrastructure use that will be implemented as soon as the required legal acts have been adopted in Latvia and Lithuania at the end of the first quarter of next year. Estonian laws already allow for the tariff to be established.

Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas said the agreement will improve the market position of and prospects of the three states' electricity producers.

Electricity trade will be directed to the Russia-Latvia cross-section in reduced quantities, using capacities "left over from" internal trade in the Baltic States, according to the statement. Electricity trade between Kaliningrad and Lithuania will continue in the current volumes, it added.

The agreement is expected to halve electricity trading between the Baltic States and third countries by half.
The new "trilateral methodology" for the calculation of trading capacities will be sent to energy market regulators at the end of this week, after which the methodology will also be accessible to participants of the Baltic electricity market. The new agreement will remain in force until the synchronisation of the Baltic electricity systems in late 2025.

The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) last month issued a permit for the loading of fresh fuel into unit one of the nuclear power plant under construction near Ostrovets in the Grodno region. It consists of two VVER-1200 reactors that are scheduled for commissioning this year and next. ASE, the engineering arm of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, is the general designer and main contractor of the project to build what will be Belarus's first nuclear power plant.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News