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.
RAAHE: Development Manager Juha Miikkulainen doesn’t think the current disagreements between EU and Moscow will affect Finland’s plans for Pyhäjoki nuclear power plant where Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom is heavily involved.
Tourists will be replaced by soldiers and scientists on the North Pole this spring. Instead of the traditional Barneo ice camp, Russia is about to establish two bases – one for scientists and one for the military.
The overall goal for Norwegian Arctic Policy is to ensure that the current geopolitical tensions do not spill over and pose a challenge to peace and stability characterizing the region, says Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
How come that the Barents and the Balkan regions have nearly the same average life expectancy, but their GDPs are dramatically different? BarentsObserver compares two border regions trying to find an answer.
Terrorism fears, with police and soldiers likely targets, is the reason for the special decision to allow Finnish Border Guards to be armed when on patrol in the normally relaxed town of Kirkenes in Norway’s northeastern corner.