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Electricity Import From Finland Set to Start in April

The first ever power exports from Finland to Russia could start in April, the Finnish grid operator told the Nordic power exchange on Monday.

"The possibility of transmission from Finland to Russia can be provided on April 1, 2014 depending notably on the outcome of technical studies and tests on the Vyborg high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link and finalization of associated procedures," Fingrid said in a market message.

The link could export up to 350 megawatts of power per hour to Russia.

So far, Finland has only imported power from Russia on lines with a total capacity of 1,300 MW.

Questions remain over how the two markets can interact with each other. While the Nordics trade only energy, Russia has both energy and capacity markets.

When the latter was introduced in 2011 to support construction of new plants, the cost of Russian power rose and exports to Finland dropped sharply to 3.8 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2012 from about 11 TWh in 2011.

A Finnish subsidiary of Russian power export monopoly Inter RAO told Reuters in November it was interested in exporting power from Finland to Russia if capacities became available.

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