BRUSSELS, May 13 -- The European Commission issued the following news release:
The European Commission has today approved an investment of Euros60 million from the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) to complete the construction of the electrical grid between Poland and Lithuania. This particular project will focus on the building of the power transmission line between the city of Elk and the Polish-Lithuanian border in the Polish regions Podlaskie and Warminsko-Mazurskie. It is the fifth major project of the 'Poland-Lithuania power link' to guarantee the transmission of electricity from Poland to Lithuania. It will also help complete the European energy market by integrating electricity energy markets of Poland and the three Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and improve the power supply for companies and individual customers alike. This could also help to reduce the dependence of Poland and the Baltic States on external power exports.
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn, who signed this decision today, said: "The issue of energy security and supply is vital for the European Union, and we know how keenly it is felt, in particularly in countries like Poland and the Baltics States at this time.
Projects like this address the question of the reliance on external power exports and they are vital to ensure the fulfilment of the European single energy market. It is of great strategic importance to develop the connection between Poland and Lithuania."
The investment comes through the Infrastructure and Environment Operational Programme under the priority axis "Energy security, including diversification of energy sources". The European Union, through the ERDF, will finance Euros60 million out of a total investment of Euros EUR 193.7 million. It is expected to be implemented by October 2015.
This project forms part of the 'Poland-Lithuania power link project' and also part of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) which is designed to fully integrate the electrical energy markets of the three Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia with the other electrical energy markets in Europe.
The current decision is the fifth major project of the 'Poland-Lithuania power link'. The other major projects forming part of the whole investments were:
*Construction of the Ostroleka-Narew line adopted by the European Commission in September 2012 with an EU financing of EUR 63 million
*Construction of the Oltarzew 400/220/110 kV substation adopted in October 2012 with an EU financing of EUR 29 million
*Power lineMilosna-Siedlce Ujrzanow adopted in January 2014 with an EU investment of Euros32.7 million
*Elk Bis-Lomza power line and construction of the power stations at Elk Bis and Lomza adopted in April 2014 with an EU investment of Euros51.8 million
The co-financing decision for this project falls under the programming period 2007-2013. Poland has been allocated approximately Euros67 billion in total cohesion policy funding from 2007-2013 and Euros77.3 billion (current prices) for 2014-2020.
This is a "major project", of which the total investment (VAT included) is above Euros50 million and thus subject to a specific decision by the European Commission, whereas projects of a lower value are approved at national or regional levels.
EU-funded 'Major Projects'
EU Cohesion Policy in Poland
Shirin Wheeler (+32 2 296 65 65) - (mobile: +32 460 766 565)
Annemarie Huber (+32 2 299 33 10) - (mobile: +32 460 793 310)
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