Elering denies the claims published in yesterday's Äripäev, and affirms that it has strictly followed all legal requirements for the submarine section of the EstLink 2 in every phase of its construction.
“We built the submarine section of EstLink 2 on the basis of a special water use permit. The interpretation that under the new Water Act, an additional building permit would be needed to construct the submarine cable, was not formed until this year. In order to ensure that our activities comply with the new interpretation of the changed Water Act, Elering applied for a building permit this year and the Technical Surveillance Authority granted this permit on 17 July of this year,” said Taavi Veskimägi, the Chairman of the Board of Elering.
Elering has both the building permits as well as use permits for the approximately 12 kilometre EstLink 2 land cable section and the interconnection’s converter station near Lüganuse.
“I can assure you that Elering has done everything with the best intentions and care, without violating or hiding anything. Elering and Fingrid have executed the EstLink 2 project according to their best knowledge and all requirements, enabling them to secure 100 million euros in co-financing for the EstLink 2 interconnection from the EU, and brought approximately 37 million euros worth of benefit to the Estonian consumer through lower electricity prices. No one has had any relevant complaints during the course of the design and construction process of EstLink 2,” said Veskimägi.
Elering has not yet applied for a use permit for the submarine cable section of the EstLink 2. “We have deliberately delayed applying for the permit, since construction works – trenching the submarine cable in the Estonian coastal sea – were still underway in July of this year and Elering has not yet received the final construction documentation from the contractor. We would like to essentially finalise the construction project before applying for a use permit,” said Veskimägi.
According to him, the technical inspection act and certificate of adequacy of EstLink 2, which was issued for the cable link on 16 September 2013, are more important than a use permit. “We will apply for a use permit as soon as we have formally received the Nexans documentation. According to the Building Act, the required use permit shall be applied for after the construction works are finalised. We deem construction to be finalised when the final as-built documentation has been presented. Thus, we are presently unable to apply for a use permit,” said Veskimägi.