The “Pechenga energy brigde” will connect the power systems of Russia and Norway and includes construction of a new 132 kV double circuit transmission between the Russian town Nikel and Skogfoss on the Norwegian side of the border. In addition, several lines and substations on the Russian side will be upgraded and modernized, Alexey Molsky of the Federal Grid Company said last week at an international conference on development of the electricity market and strengthening of electricity grid in the High North.
The project has a 9 billion rubles (€182 million) price tag, the company says in a press release.
The Norwegian grid operator Statnett is nearly finished building a 132 kV line between Skogfoss and Varangerbotn. “The new line will give better capacity and security of supply and make more energy exchange with Russia possible”, the company’s web site reads.
In 2011 Statnett wanted to cooperate with Russia on building an electricity line from the Kola Peninsula to Norway through Skogfoss, but was stopped by the Norwegian Ministry of Oil and Energy, who argued that import of electricity from Russia’s north would prolong the life time of the oldest reactors at Kola Nuclear Power Plant, BarentsObserver reported.
Russia and Norway are members of BASREC – the Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation. The organization was founded in 1998 by the ministers for energy of the region and the European Commission. The other members are Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the European Commission.
Norwegian state-owned coal mining company Store Norske on the Svalbard archipelago is in a serious situation because of low prices on coal. The company is now in dialogue with the State, employees and the bank to secure further operations in 2015.
What was the Barents Region’s only east-west flight, from Arkhangelsk to Tromsø via Murmansk, lacks permission and is no longer flying. Nordavia, however, hopes to see the Pskovaia operated aircraft soon landing in Tromsø again.
This abandoned polar hydrometrological station at Cape Menshikova on Novaya Zemlya can be declared a culture heritage site as Arkhangelsk authorities urge Moscow to include Arctic objects in the state register.
Industrialists in Finland eye the opening of a major trade and transport route with a projected railway connection to the Norwegian Arctic coast. Former PM Paavo Lipponen has been hired to get the Norwegians onboard.
Photographer Cristian Barnett traveled around the Arctic Circle, capturing life at 66° 33′ 44″ N. The result is his new book and traveling exhibition, Life on the Line. BarentsObserver spoke with Barnett about his impressions of life on the Circle and the decisions he made to capture it.
The Sami Council, which is an umbrella organization for Sami organizations in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, has agreed that there is a need for Sami to be present in the EU capital of Brussels and plans to establish an office there.