Latvia - Energy and power

The hydroelectric power stations on the Daugava River are Latvia's major source of electricity, but they do not produce enough to meet the country's power needs, especially in years when the reservoirs are low, when 30% to 40% of Latvia's power must be imported, mostly from Estonia and Lithuania. All three plants underwent modernization at the end of the 1990s. In addition, the Kegums hydropower plant, built in 1939, was renovated and reopened in 2001, having been made operable for another 40 years. During 2000, Latvia produced about 3.3 billion kWh of electricity, mostly from three hydroelectric plants at Plevinas, Riga, and Kegums (accounting for 67% of the total produced); power from a conventional thermal plant in Riga accounted for an additional 33%. In the same year, consumption of electricity was 5.16 billion kWh. Installed capacity in 2001 totaled 2.2 million kW.

Latvia imports nearly 100% of its required gas and petroleum products from Russia, Belarus, and Lithuania; in 2000, petroleum was consumed at a rate of 25,000 barrels per day and natural gas consumption totaled 1.3 billion cu m (46 billion cu ft). In 1998 the Western Pipeline System joint stock company was formed to increase transmission capacity between Belarus and Latvia, with an additional 360,000 barrels per day of pipeline capacity forecast for 2005. Latvia's territorial waters in the Black Sea are thought to contain as many as 300 million barrels of oil. In 2002 Latvia awarded five-year offshore exploration rights to a US-Norwegian joint venture.

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