NIK on the construction of the energy bridge Poland-Lithuania

However, NIK negatively assessed the method according to which the Polish Energy Networks (Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne SA, PSE SA) and the Oil and Gas Institute National Research Institute in Cracow (Instytut Nafty i Gazu - Państwowy Instytut Badawczy, INiG PIB) accounted for the EU subsidies obtained to purchase land for the construction of one power station. The market price of purchased land specified in the settlement was higher than the valuation price, therefore the financing was overestimated by PLN 2 million.

The total cost of the energy bridge Poland-Lithuania, its preparation and implementation, amounted to PLN 2139758,4 thousand (the planned amount: PLN 2706709 thousand). The subsidy from the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2007-2013 and the Trans-European Networks for Energy Programme totalled PLN 904409,5 thousand. In course of 14 public procurement procedures PSE SA concluded 16 investment and supply contracts of total gross value PLN 2158014,8 thousand. PSE SA purchased 499895 m2 of land for the investment purposes, of total value PLN 21919,1 thousand.

Four energy networks, of total length 602,2 km, and four power stations were constructed, two stations were expanded. The investment was in line with the objective specified in the Polish Energy Policy to 2030, concerning the connection of Poland’s energy exchange networks with the neighbouring energy systems.

Analysts forecasted that after the connection of the Polish and Lithuanian state energy systems, the electricity would be transferred to Poland in high demand periods only, and that the exchange balance will be sustainable. Three months after the bridge was launched, the energy transfer from Lithuania to Poland exceeded the transfer in the opposite direction thrice. This may have resulted from the fact that Lithuania lowered energy prices, because the energy connection Sweden-Lithuania was launched. At the time of NIK audit, the bridge Poland-Lithuania had been functioning for a fairly short period, which made it impossible to establish comprehensive conclusions regarding the economic impact of the investment on the national energy market.

Energy exchange balance with Lithuania in MWh (2017 - January and February)

The following ministers responsible for energy properly supervised the investment and reliably fulfilled the function of the Intermediate Body. PSE SA correctly selected the contractors of particular energy lines and sectors, as well as suppliers of their equipment. The company reliably supervised the implementation of tasks commissioned to the contractors.

NIK negatively assessed the settlement method of the EU subsidy obtained to purchase land for the construction of the energy station Ołtarzew , applied by the PSE SA and INiG PIB in Cracow (the Implementing Authority). Eligible costs were overestimated, which resulted in an unjustified increase of the financing in the amount of PLN 2384,2 thousand.

Auditors also stated that the Bakałarzewo municipality did not adjust the municipal planning documents to the Spatial Development Plan of the Podlaskie Region, and did not include information on one of the transfer lines being part of the Poland-Lithuania energy bridge therein. The programme was implemented in a timely manner only because the course of the line was specified in municipal planning documents, on the basis of a replacement ordinance issued by the Governor of the Podlaskie Region.

Regulations and laws of local communities were not breached in course of the planning process. PSE SA complied with the formal requirements resulting from the regulations in force. In course of the planning process consultations were made with the regional governments and other bodies regarding the course of the planned line. At its implementation stage, the project was discussed in detail with municipal authorities; the contractors intended to include the requests of local communities and, in several cases, adjusted the course of the energy line. Compensation and remuneration for owners/users of property was negotiated on the basis of valuation reports. In case no agreement with a property owner was reached, regulations of Article 124 of the Property Management Act were applied.

NIK assessed that the investments planned to be conducted by PSE SA at the second project stage (expansion of the transfer line) were justified, although it is not sure that they will be implemented according to the initially assumed plan - resulting in the construction of a second direct current section and the increase of transfer capacity Poland-Lithuania to 1000 MW.

Conclusions and recommendations

  1. It is not possible to comprehensively assess the effects resulting from the construction of the second stage of the connection, because no up-to-date Energy Policy was prepared for Poland, defined in chapter 3 of the Energy Law. The Energy Policy to 2030, adopted by the Council of Ministers on 10 November 2010, in line with Article 15, item 2 of the Energy Law should have been substituted by a new document after four years, so up to November 2013, which was signalled by NIK already in 2015.
  2. After the audit, a final market analysis of the energy connection Poland-Lithuania was prepared. According to the study, conducted by experts selected by PSE SA and LitGrid AB, benefits resulting from the increase of the connection capacity would be relatively higher for Poland than Lithuania.
  3. No final agreements regarding the construction of the second stage of the connection have been made to date. Minister of Energy, Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure and PSE SA should intensify works aimed to assess, whether it is justified to further increase the capacity of the energy connection with Lithuania. The energy and economy security of the state should be taken into account, as well as the interest of the final energy recipients. The expansion of such connections increases safety of energy deliveries, and the possibility to import cheaper energy may positively impact its prices. Therefore, while deciding on the implementation of the second stage of the analysed project, the Minister of Energy should consider all the above, to reach a consensus among the interested parties.

Article informations

Date of creation:
06 July 2018 16:01
Date of publication:
06 July 2018 16:01
Published by:
Andrzej Gaładyk
Date of last change:
06 July 2018 16:04
Last modified by:
Andrzej Gaładyk

Read content once again