Eva Nygren, president of Sweco Sweden, said: “The transmission line will have the highest voltage ever built in Lithuania, and will also create an interconnection to the European grid and facilitate the exchange of power with other EU member states. This will be a critical step towards Lithuania’s goal to increase its energy independence.”

Swedish and Lithuanian consultants from Sweco are collaborating in the assignment, which has been divided into two parts. The first of these involves preparation of an environmental impact assessment and a territorial planning document for construction of the new transmission line. In the second, Sweco will design and draft a plan for upgrading of a transformer station in Alytus. The station will be equipped with a technologically advanced solution for interconnection between the countries, a back-to-back converter.

At the EU’s request, Lithuania will shut down the nuclear power plant at Ignalina on 31 December 2009. As compensation for this, the EU is contributing funding for the new power line that will connect Lithuania to the European power grid.

Sweco’s consultants in Lithuania have previously been involved in connection with decommissioning of the Ignalina plant, where they are providing technical and environmental expertise. Sweco’s client is Lietuvos Energija, the owner and operator of the Lithuanian power system. Sweco’s work is scheduled for completion in December 2010.