Court rules against SwePol

The planned SwePol underwater power cable faced problems in June when a Swedish court ruled to put the project on hold following a new environmental law. The ruling was seen as a victory for Swedish environmentalists but SwePol Link, the company behind the project, remains confident that it will proceed to plan.

An appeals court ruled that more documentation was needed to prove that the project`s benefits outweigh its SKr2.6bn ($301.4m) costs. It based its ruling on a new Swedish environmental law that took effect this year.

The project would link Poland and Sweden and forms part of a wider project to interconnect the Baltic and Nordic electricity grids. The 240 km sea cable will have a capacity of 600 MW and 450 kV. SwePol Link is 48 per cent owned by Swedish utility Vattenfall, with Svenska Kraftnät owning 51 per cent and Poland`s power grid company PSE owning one per cent.

The court will now examine why the cable is important in terms of socio-economic gains. Environmentalists say that the link will open Sweden to less environmentally sound electricity produced in Poland and could damage water and plant life. SwePol maintains that the link will make the Swedish and Nordic grids more efficient.